Legendary Australian golfer Greg Norman is typically known for his affable demeanor and his lucrative wine business, but during an interview this week about golf’s drug testing policy, the Shark was anything but happy-go-lucky. He blasted the sport’s governing body for failing to blood test players and said it should be the PGA Tour’s number one responsibility to institute it immediately.
Here’s a portion of his quote, as per ESPN…
"How deep it is (the problem), I have no idea because we only do urine analysis instead of blood testing. If you really want to be serious about it and find about what's really going on, we need to do blood testing. I think it's disgraceful, to tell you the truth. The golf associations have to get together and step it up.”
There has been a lot of talk recently about drug testing in golf after major champion Vijay Singh admitted he used deer antler spray, supposedly without the knowledge it was a banned substance. While many of the other sports are working harder and harder to try and catch cheaters, golf is still largely stuck in the dark ages with its urine-only tests. That doesn’t necessarily mean a high percentage of its athletes are cheating, but until widespread random testing is done, no one can know that answer with any level of certainty.
Golf is a sport founded on rigid professionalism. Players often call penalties on themselves, and a certain level of respect and honor is encouraged amongst the players. I suspect the PGA and European Tours may be hesitant to begin testing in case the results would shoot down that lofty standard, but that doesn’t mean testing shouldn’t be done.
We’ll keep you updated.