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Sergio Garcia says drugs in golf are not a problem

February 21, 2013

In light of Lance Armstrong’s recent admission to using performance-enhancing drugs in all seven of his Tour de France victories, Spain’s favourite golfer, Sergio Garcia, has said that doping isn’t a problem in professional golf.

Speaking at the PGA’s Northern Trust Open, he spoke of current calls to intensify testing in the world of tennis:

"Obviously, you can't control everyone but I feel like golf has always been in a good state when it comes down to that. It’s not the kind of sport that needs so much when it comes to enhancing drugs."

Garcia, who counts Rafael Nadal amongst one of his closest friends, has been keeping an interest in the development of testing in tennis. Besides Nadal, both Roger Federer and Andy Murray have called for more blood doping tests.

Garcia continued:

“Tennis is so much harder on the body than golf. [In] Tennis, I have the pleasure of playing tennis, obviously not professionally but even like that, if I play two or three times in a week, I can feel it.”

Despite this however, although physical attributes may not require the support of drugs, the ability to maintain a level of focus over the course of a round, may tempt some to turn to drugs.

Only in 2007, Gary Player stated that he knew as fact that certain golfers were taking growth hormones, creatine and steroids; he also called for random drug-testing within the sport.

It wasn’t for another two years however until a professional golfer got banned for taking a performance enhancing drug. In 2009, after failing a urine test, Doug Barron was swiftly banned from both the PGA and European tours.

Despite the fact that Barron was found to be taking testosterone for medical reasons, with doctors stating that he had the testosterone levels of an 80 year-old man, he fell short of the sports doping policy.
After being denied an exemption to the rule, for the next eight months, Barron refused to take the drugs for the love of his sport:

“I couldn’t get out of bed. I was tired. I had no sex drive,” he said. “I decided to get back on testosterone and my doctors had no problem with me doing it.”

Three weeks before the St. Jude Classic in 2009, Barron injected one shot of testosterone and was suspended after taking a urine test; a decision in which he did not decide to appeal.

After a lift in the ban however, Barron is on track for re-establishing himself as a professional golfer and only at the beginning of 2013, pledged that he would continue playing until he is past his best.

With Barron’s medical predicament considered, should golfers suffering from illnesses or deficiencies be allowed to take performance-enhancing drugs?

If you need any advice on your game, or the equipment you use, Direct Golf have 30 advisors ready and waiting for anyone needing help with the sport.

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