Golf, Drugs & Testing

After reading the recent article at about how the PGA isn’t going to allow Doug Barron a chance to go to Q School after testing positive for testosterone and some beta-blockers, I started thinking about how drug testing on the PGA tour might not be as good of a thing they initially hoped.   I mean look at this guy, he’s 40 years old, not a marquee player by any means and has a medical condition that required him to take these "banned" substances in order to lead a healthy life.  While players can take banned substances if they are medically necessary, the Tour never granted Barron a therapeutic-use exemption (TUE) for either drug because Tour doctors said they didn’t see a need for the use of the drugs as his levels were found to be normal.   Why is it that the PGA Tour can’t use some judgment in a case like this and say Ok, this guy isn’t abusing the policy for any type of gain. 

I can see the need to protect the integrity of the game by not allowing players to gain unfair advantage through performance enhancing drugs, but this policy can’t exist in a vacuum.  There has to be a way to analyze each individual situation and make a good determination based on the facts.  It doesn’t sound like the PGA Tour is doing that in this particular case. 


4 Replies to “Golf, Drugs & Testing”
  • sets golf
    November 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    I agree completely! This guy was obviously not trying to gain a competitive advantage, even though he could probably use one given his unremarkable career. I wasn’t aware that he was disqualified from Q-school. Why do the “tour doctors” carry so much weight? He should have been allowed to present medical documentation from his doctor, or at least an opinion from an impartial doctor to settle the issue. This is really unfair to a guy just trying to make an honest living and stay healthy at the same time.

  • Rob
    November 18, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Agreed. The Tour may want to pay a little more attention to the equipment that is making a lot of the great courses more irrelevant every year.

  • Christian • Post Author •
    November 19, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    True Rob. The guys overpowering these courses are doing it with performance enhancing equipment…not testosterone.

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