John Daly Calls PGA Tour's Drug-Testing Program 'A Big Joke'
John Daly had harsh words for Tim Finchem and the PGA Tour on Tuesday night, calling the Tour's drug-testing program "a big joke" and imploring the commissioner to "get off [his] ass."
The drama began on SiriusXM's Hit It Hard With John Daly, when host Patrick Meagher asked the two-time major champion if the drug testing conducted on the PGA Tour was random. Daly, who is scheduled to tee it up at this week's Valspar Championship at Florida's Innisbrook Resort, claimed to know exactly when the Tour would test him at the event.
"I'm gonna play at 1:50 on Friday so they're [going to] get me about 6:52, 7 o'clock," Daly said. "This'll be the fifth or sixth year in a row I'm going to get drug tested [at this event]. It's the biggest bulls--t, I'm sorry, I'm gonna say it, fine me. I don't care what you do, fix 'em right now, fine me, but I'm tired of it. It's not random; it's big a joke. This whole drug testing is a joke."
The Tour's most unpredictable player complained that the Tour's drug-testing program is, well, predicatable.
"I know when I'm getting drug tested," he said. "That's sad. They all know when we're getting drug tested. And for you dopers and all that s--t on the PGA Tour, you know you're getting drug tested, you got it made! You got it made! And I'm tired of it."
The Tour claims to conduct random testing both inside and outside of tournament competition, both on and off tournament sites, but several Tour stars, including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy, told The New York Times in 2013 that they had never been tested away from a tournament site.
According to the World Anti-Doping Agency, an effective testing program "should include not just in-competition testing, but no advance notice out-of-competition testing, too."
Daly called on Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and chief of operations Andy Pazder to reform the program.
"Andy Pazder, if you listen to this show, you and Tim Finchem get off your ass and get it right," Daly said. "You know, I'm tired of it. Because it has to be random; this is bulls--t. And I'm sorry, fine me, I don't care what you do, fine me, but do it randomly."
If the PGA Tour does fine Daly, it won't be the first time. According to the New York Post, Daly's 2010 lawsuit against Morris Publishing revealed a long history of Tour-imposed discipline, including five suspensions, six stints on probation, 11 citations for "conduct unbecoming a professional," 21 citations for "failure to give best efforts" and nearly $100,000 in fines. The notoriously hard-partying Daly suggested, however, that the Tour may have unfairly singled him out.
"I'm pissed 'cause I know I'm going to get drug tested no matter where I go," he said.
In response to Daly's comments, the PGA Tour issued a statement denying that Daly had ever been specifically targeted for testing and disputing his claim that Tour pros know in advance when they will be tested:
Since its inception in 2008, the PGA Tour has invested significant resources and money in its anti-doping program and it is widely regarded as the most comprehensive and credible program in professional golf. While our staff has met with John Daly in the past, including within the past year, to review the details of the program, it would appear we need to do so again based on his recent comments. That review included sharing that drug testing on the PGA Tour is both random and selective. We have also shared with him his own individual testing history. While it is not our practice to publicly comment on individual testing matters, we reserve the right to correct factually incorrect statements. Contrary to his assertions, John Daly has never been targeted for testing and his claim that players know when they will be tested is simply not true.
Here's the audio from the broadcast, which contains some explicit language: