The major governing organisations in golf yesterday announced that they have agreed in principle to an anti-doping policy for professional golf on a global basis that will be accomplished in two phases.
Peter Dawson, chief executive of The R&A, commented, “The R&A has no reason to believe that golf is anything other than a clean sport. But we‘ve been supportive of a co-ordinated international effort to test for drugs so that we can demonstrate that our sport is clean and we can keep it that way.
“It’s terrific that all of the major golf organizations of the world have come together in this initiative, and we‘re delighted that we‘re going to have a great degree of international consistency in the way this subject is handled. It’s a very good day for golf.
“As far as The Open Championship is concerned, we‘ve taken a policy decision that The Open will fall into line with whatever drug testing regime the tours and specifically in our case, The European Tour, develops. So The Open will be just as another week on tour.”
Chief executive of the European Tour, George O‘Grady, said, “We were led in this drive by The R&A. I think we‘ve had a great input by all of the amateur federations across Europe and then the rest of the world. It’s really good news for us that all the bodies are on side today, including the four major championships which are the focus of the game.
“I think it’s so good that we‘ve got a co-ordinated policy for the whole world now and not just one tour going off on its own sweet way. I think this is very good news for the whole world of golf and for the sport in general.”
The first phase of the policy, which has been completed, encompasses the development of The Model Prohibited Substance and Methods List. (see below).
The second phase of the policy, which is anticipated to be completed prior to the end of this year, will include general standards for all the fundamental elements of an anti-doping program for golf organisations that become signatories to the policy, while providing flexibility for such signatories to develop specific policies and procedures necessary or appropriate for their organisations.
Such standards will encompass the Model Prohibited Substance and Methods List, as well as medical waiver procedures, testing protocols, results management, penalties, sanctions and reciprocity of outcomes.
Leading golf organisations who have lent their support, leadership and cooperation for the development of the Policy as a result of their representation on the Board of Directors of the World Golf Foundation and who will, subject to approval by their governing boards, become signatories to the Policy include:
• Augusta National Golf Club
• European Tour
• Ladies Professional Golf Association
• PGA of America
• PGA TOUR
• The R&A for The Open Championship
• United States Golf Association for the U.S. Open, the U.S. Women’s Open and the U.S. Senior Open
Other leading golf organisations who have agreed to become signatories to the Policy include:
• Asian Tour
• Australasian Tour
• Canadian Tour
• Japan Professional Golf Tour
• Sunshine Tour
• Tour de Las Americas
The Model Prohibited Substance and Methods List (modified as necessary for individual golf organisations) will be incorporated into the respective tournament regulations of a number of signatories to the policy, effective in 2008. Player education and outreach on the Model Prohibited Substance and Methods List is ongoing and will be given increased emphasis by the signatories of the Policy moving forward.
An Anti-Doping office of the World Golf Foundation will be created in 2008, and will, among duties, coordinate and share information with golf organisations with respect to medical waiver procedures and therapeutic use exemptions under the Policy. Disciplinary procedures and penalties for violations of the Policy will be controlled and administered by the signatories to the Policy, and disclosed to other signatory organisations for consistency and coordination purposes. Testing protocols will also be within the purview of the individual signatory organizations and will be developed and approved by each organisation on an individual basis. It is anticipated that signatories who will be testing under the Policy will commence and activate their testing programs in 2008.
The R&A www.RandA.org
Model Prohibited Substances and Methods List
• Anabolic Agents
• Hormones and Related Substances
• Agents with Anti-Estrogenic Activity
• Diuretics and Other Masking Agents
• Beta Blockers
• Enhancement of Oxygen Transfer
• Chemical and Physical Manipulation
Substances that may be Prohibited at the Option of the Golf Organization