Golf Tournament Doing Drug Testing

Associated Press
Wednesday, July 19, 2006; 1:06 PM

HOYLAKE, England -- Drug testing will take place at a golf tournament for the first time in October, though the Royal & Ancient is confident the sport does not have a doping problem.

R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said Wednesday on the eve of the British Open that tests will be carried out at the World Amateur Team championship at Stellenbosch, South Africa, on Oct. 22-29.

Dawson said the R&A supports drug testing in golf to put the sport into line with the World Anti-Doping Agency's code governing all sports, and to stop performance-enhancing substances from creeping into the game.

"We don't think at the moment that there is much use of performance-enhancing drugs in golf," he said. "I don't feel particularly under pressure, let me be clear.

"There have been quite a number of drugs tests, mainly in France, and the majority of the positive tests were for social drugs which, under the WADA code, are just as important as performance-enhancing ones."

Dawson said the doping controls at Stellenbosch will be a good guide of whether golf administrators can set up an effective testing system.

"We are, if you like, cutting our teeth of making sure that we can administer that properly," he said. "It's a rehearsal. I don't know when you're going to see drug testing in professional golf around the world, but we would support it."


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