Scottsdale (USA): Vijay Singh has admitted he used deer-antler spray, saying he wasn`t aware that it may contain a substance banned by the US PGA Tour.
The 49-year-old Fijian first revealed he used the spray in an interview with Sports Illustrated. The magazine said Singh paid one of Sports With Alternatives To Steroids` owners USD 9,000 last November for the spray, hologram chips and other products.
The magazine also reported Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis sought help from SWATS in his recovery from a torn right triceps. The company says its deer-antler substance contains a banned performance-enhancer connected to human growth hormone.
Singh released a statement yesterday at the Phoenix Open.
"While I have used deer antler spray, at no time was I aware that it may contain a substance that is banned under the PGA Tour Anti-Doping Policy," Singh said in the statement.
"In fact, when I first received the product, I reviewed the list of ingredients and did not see any prohibited substances. I am absolutely shocked that deer-antler spray may contain a banned substance and am angry that I have put myself in this position. I have been in contact with the PGA Tour and am cooperating fully with their review of this matter. I will not be commenting further at this time."
Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said it was "looking into the matter."
"I know that it`s obviously illegal, whatever it is," Masters champion Bubba Watson said. "It sounds like something I would never want near me. ... I don`t even know how you take deer-antler spray.
"It`s sad that people live and die by their sport and they have to, I guess, cheat and go around it and try to better themselves with deer-antler spray. I`m not just going to take something and ask questions later. I`m not going to take deer antler-spray and find out what it is later. ... I think we should check them for mental problems if they`re taking deer-antler spray. That`s kind of weird."
Singh won the last of his 34 tour titles in 2008. The three-time major champion also has 22 international victories. Early in his career, he was suspended from the Asian Tour for two years for altering his scorecard during a tournament in Indonesia.
Doug Barron is the only player to be suspended under the tour`s anti-doping policy, missing part of 2009 and most of 2010. The one-year suspension was lifted in September 2010, and Barron was granted a therapeutic use exemption for low testosterone.