LPGA Tour releases list of banned substances
SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN, Ariz. -- The LPGA Tour released the list of substances it will ban when it begins drug testing next year.
The tour said Wednesday that it will test for 33 anabolic steroids, 29 stimulants and 20 beta-blockers, among other substances. The list is not as comprehensive as the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list, but LPGA Tour general counsel Jill Pilgrim said the tour wanted to target drugs that would enhance golf performance.
"The easiest thing would have been to just go ahead and take the WADA list of prohibited substances that the Olympics use," said Pilgrim, who held the same position with USA Track & Field. "We thought about that and decided that in golf in general, and women's golf in particular, there's no sense that there's a problem per se.
"To me, you have to be responsible about developing a program. You don't just throw everything at the wall and say, 'OK, we're going to ruin your career for testing positive even though we have no proof that it has any impact on the sport.' That wouldn't make sense."
The tour will not test for HGH, which is on WADA's banned list and has become the latest drug of choice among athletes in other sports. Pilgrim said the tour did not ban HGH because "we don't have any evidence that HGH is a problem in women's professional golf.
"It was easier to say, 'Let's leave that off for the first round and let's see where we end up after we start doing some drug testing,"' Pilgrim said.
Tour officials developed the list after consulting with the National Center for Drug Free Sport in Kansas City, which handles testing for the NCAA.
"It's not written in stone," Pilgrim said. "We know that the list will evolve over time."
Officials presented the list to players at a meeting Tuesday night. Annika Sorenstam, a member of the tour's drug-testing subcommittee, said she hadn't heard of most of the banned substances.
"I'm not very familiar with any of those substances, and I don't really know what they are other than caffeine [which is not banned] and cocaine, I think," she said. "I have a lot of learning to do. But I think it's an important statement that we're making.
"It's a new era for the LPGA," Sorenstam said. "We're standing behind it."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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