Olympics showed it was time for blood testing

Barsaba Taglieri
Giugno 21, 2017

The Tour will align its list of prohibited substances with that of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) but will still use urine testing as an anti-doping measure, with blood testing meant to detect substances such as human growth hormone.

The tour will also launch a comprehensive education program to ensure that all players understand changes to the testing procedures, the banned substance list and the adjudication process before next season.

The changes, which will take effect when the new season begins in October, will allow for the detection of Human Growth Hormone, which can not be found through urine samples.

In addition, blood testing will be part of the program, which will reveal use of human growth hormones.

Professional golfers will come under closer scrutiny next season when the PGA Tour introduces its new blood testing programme.

Most player concerns over potential blood testing were put to rest during last year's Olympics when players were subjected to blood testing without any issues, and one of the primary motivations to add blood testing to the circuit's policy was to more closely mirror the World Anti-Doping Agency's policy which is used during the Games.

Former world No 1 Vijay Singh has sued the Tour after he was cleared of doping.

The Tour's decision to begin reporting positive tests and penalties for recreational drugs marks a major shift in policy. "We all want a fair playing field and, if that's the step they want to take, then I'm right behind it", said the Scottish No 1.

"Urine is the far more efficient testing method of 98 percent-plus of what we're looking for", Andy Levinson, the tour's senior vice president of tournament administration, who oversees the anti-doping policy, said.

In perhaps the most notable change, the Tour is moving away from its current policy of keeping certain player suspensions confidential. Although not a signatory to the WADA Code and not required to consult with WADA on the TOUR Prohibited List, given the global nature of professional golf, consistency with the WADA list ensures professional golfers need to comply with just one list in competition around the world as well as in Olympic competition.

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