O'Meara calls for ban on Vijay Singh

DUBAI Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:15pm IST

1 of 2. Vijay Singh of Fiji reacts while walking off the fifth tee during round three of the BMW Championship golf tournament in Carmel, Indiana September 8, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brent Smith/Files

Related Topics

DUBAI (Reuters) - Twice major winner Mark O'Meara believes former world number one Vijay Singh should be suspended by the PGA Tour after the Fijian admitted to using a spray to treat an injury which contains a banned substance.

The three-times major winner said he was unaware the deer-antler spray, which he has been using for a couple of months, contained an insulin-like growth factor that is banned by the U.S. circuit.

O'Meara, competing at the Dubai Desert Classic where the 56-year-old opened with a five-under-par 67 on Thursday, said he had a lot of respect for his friend Singh but that his situation should be no different to those who have been banned before.

"Probably he should be suspended for a couple of months, and I don't know what the PGA Tour Commissioner is thinking, but people have had to pay the price before and he should be no different," O'Meara told reporters.

"I was a bit surprised to hear what Vijay said. I don't think he's a guy that would take advantage of anything, and besides I like Vijay. I wish the best for him and his family and I wish the best for him."

Singh, 49, allegedly paid one of the owners of Sports with Alternatives to Steroids (SWATS) $9,000 in November for the spray and other products, Sports Illustrated said this week.

Singh released a statement on Wednesday at the Phoenix Open confirming he had taken it, that he was "shocked" and "angry" at himself and that he was in cooperation with the tour over the issue.

Since the PGA Tour's anti-doping programme was launched in 2008, American journeyman Doug Barron is the only player who has been suspended for a violation, in November 2009.

Barron, then 40, was banned for a year for taking a performance-enhancing drug.

In keeping with honesty in golf, O'Meara said he had no doubts over Singh, who is known for his workaholic approach to the game.

"Has Vijay tried to bend the rules? No I don't think that."

(Editing by Tom Pilcher)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

TENNIS

Reuters Showcase

Disputed Action

Disputed Action

Ajmal misses first Sri Lanka ODI for tests on action.  Full Article 

Golf Update

Golf Update

McIlroy struggles in opening round at The Barclays.  Full Article 

Steyn Returns

Steyn Returns

Steyn, Morkel back for South Africa in triangular series  Full Article 

Taking a Break

Taking a Break

U.S. keeper Howard to take year off from international duty.  Full Article 

Mackay Sorry

Mackay Sorry

Mackay apologises for sending "disrespectful" messages.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage