About Us Contact Us Advertise Newsletter

Golf news, golf reports, golf headlines, golf updates,golf features

Golf Today > News Archive > 2008 Archive >


Open drugs testing put on hold for 2008

Plans to introduce drug testing at July’s British Open have been put on hold, tournament organisers the Royal & Ancient (R&A) said on Tuesday.

“The fact drug testing…is a 52 week a year occupation, not one week a year, the fact the Open has already started this year with three qualifying events means we have decided drug testing will not take place this year,” chief executive Peter Dawson told reporters.

“But we very much plan and intend it will take place next year.”

The R&A, one of the prime movers behind golf’s drugs policy, said it needed to wait until the anti-doping procedures planned by the U.S. PGA Tour and European Tour were up and running.

“The PGA and European tours expect to start drug testing round about July,” added Dawson. “Both are engaged in a player education programme (and it is) very important the players understand what drug testing is all about.

“It is a function of timing and we see the Open…as another week on tour as far as drug testing is concerned. We don’t see us having any different or special policies for that one week a year.”

Dawson also said the R&A were concerned by the slow play evident at this month’s U.S. Masters when pairs were taking more than five hours to go round.

“We did see some very slow play at the Masters,” he said. “That’s not a criticism of the Augusta event, it just happened to happen.

“We have a meeting coming up in two or three weeks of the World Golf Foundation, everyone around the table who runs professional golf will be there and we have put the subject on the agenda.”

Dawson said it was important to tackle slow play so that it does not filter through to the amateur game.

“It certainly needs something doing about it, not just for the running of these (top) events but for the effect it has on grass roots play,” he added. “We do see people not unnaturally copying the stars.

“It’s clearly an issue right across the game, top to bottom, up and down the game, and I think it behoves all the governing bodies in golf to address it.”

Dawson said penalties could be brought in if players did not respond.

“Ways need to be found to, one, educate players…and as a last resort penalise them if they don’t respond,” he said.

“We’re not seeing any slow play penalties in the game and the last thing we want to see is players being penalised but unless there’s a realistic threat of it, it’s hard to see that this would improve. The 2008 British Open at Royal Birkdale starts on July 17.

April 30, 2008


Golf Today Classifieds

Bookmark page with:
What are these Email This Page Subscribe Follow us on Twitter Top of Page
News Tours Rankings Tuition Course Directory Equipment Asian Travel Notice Board

© Golftoday.co.uk 1996-2014