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:

Sports Wrap

REUTERS SHOWCASE

SpiceJet Bail-Out

SpiceJet Bail-Out

Co-founder of SpiceJet seeks time to finalise rescue  Full Article 

Regulating Airfares

Regulating Airfares

India considers temporary cap on airfares - government official  Full Article 

Ten Years On

Ten Years On

British tsunami brothers use funky footwear to help children.  Full Article 

Fund Raising

Fund Raising

Xiaomi raising over $1 bln from investors including GIC - source.  Full Article 

Porn Crackdown

Porn Crackdown

China arrests thousands in porn, gambling crackdown - Xinhua.  Full Article 

India v Australia

India v Australia

Boxing Day test of India's resolve in Melbourne.  Full Article | Related Story 

Jaycee Charged

Jaycee Charged

China charges Jackie Chan's son over drug offence.  Full Article 

China on Cyberattacks

China on Cyberattacks

China condemns cyberattacks, but does not mention North Korea.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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