Singh spray triggers a dope controversy

Former world No 1 Vijay Singh has admitted using deer antler spray, but says he was unaware the extract contained an insulin-like growth factor that is banned by the PGA Tour.

Fijian Singh, a three-time major winner, has been using the spray, which is believed to speed up recovery from injury, for "a couple of months", according to a Sports Illustrated article published online earlier this week.

The spray is produced by Sports with Alternatives to Steroids (SWATS) and contains IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor), a natural anabolic hormone that stimulates muscle growth.

“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, who has battled assorted health problems in recent years, especially with his back, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“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.”

Ty Votaw, the PGA Tour’s executive vice-president of communications and international affairs, said the Tour was “looking into the matter.”

“We are in the midst of conducting a review process of the PGA Tour’s anti-doping policy ... and because of that we have no further comment at this time,” said Votaw.

Asked about the deer antler spray, he replied: “The spray is not banned but there is an ingredient in that spray, IGF-1, and that is banned under our anti-doping policy.”

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