Woods backs anti-doping measures in golf
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Woods backs anti-doping measures in golf

The golf superstar has added his voice to a growing chorus calling for the PGA Tour to begin testing for performance-enhancing drugs.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2006 13:56 IST

Golf superstar Tiger Woods has added his voice to a growing chorus calling for the PGA Tour to begin testing for performance-enhancing drugs.

"I think we should be proactive rather than reactive," said Woods, who is defending his title here this week in the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational.

"This is a great sport and it has always been clean. We should be ahead of it and keep our sport as pure as we can, have a program in place before (it becomes a problem)."

Headline grabbing doping cases have brought the issue to the forefront in the United States, with cyclist Floyd Landis facing the loss of his Tour de France title and 100m world and Olympic champion Justin Gatlin facing sanctions in the wake of positive tests for elevated levels of testosterone.

Marion Jones, the one-time darling of US athletics who has been dogged in recent years by doping allegations has also reportedly tested positive for the banned endurance-booster EPO, although she has denied using any performance enhancing drug.

Woods said he believed golf could use the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned substances as a basis for its policy, making some modifications.

"It depends on what it is, because each sport takes a few things off of it, and some sports are pretty strict," Woods said. "They can't even take aspirin. I don't know how that would work."

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said Wednesday that the tour had no plans to begin drug testing.

He said that the tour doesn't even have a written policy banning any substances that might be considered performance enhancing in golf, noting that a cornerstone of the game is that players police themselves.

"In other sports, part of the game is really to hope you can do something and the referee doesn't see it," Finchem said. "In this sport, there is a reliance on the individual to call the rules on himself, and that's what happens.

"We've put a lot more energy behind telling players what the do's and don't's are with respect to illegal drugs," Finchem added. "We don't have a list of performance-enhancing drugs in golf at this point, but utilizing a performance-enhancing (drug) is the same as kicking your ball out of the rough."

First Published: Aug 25, 2006 13:56 IST