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PGA Golf Tour Snubs U.S. Tests as Marijuana Surfaces in Europe
May 10 (Bloomberg) -- Golf's most powerful organization, the U.S. PGA Tour, says there is no evidence of drug use in the sport and testing is unnecessary. Results from Europe suggest that rationale may be flawed.
While muscle-enhancing steroids aren't surfacing, other banned substances are: Marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy have turned up in French and Italian tests of amateur and pro golfers, according to documents from sports-testing agencies.
Golf's rule-making bodies have little control over the PGA Tour, whose 275 active players include Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. The tour's resistance makes it unlikely that mandatory, global testing of top pros will emerge in the next few years, current and former golf officials say.
``It's really a matter for the tours to embrace, and I think that's happening slowly, in the United States particularly slowly,'' says Peter Dawson, chief executive of Scotland's Royal & Ancient Golf Club, the sport's rulemaker outside the U.S. and Mexico. ``I don't think you're going to see a worldwide anti- doping policy in place in golf for some years.''
David Fay, executive director of the Far Hills, New Jersey- based United States Golf Association, says a global testing plan is probably inevitable.
``It's just a matter of time before the sport of golf needs to deal with this in a comprehensive manner,'' says Fay, 55.
The USGA, which oversees rules in the U.S. and Mexico, runs the U.S. Open. It has no control over the 47 other PGA Tour events, where $250 million in prize money is disbursed.
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