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Vijay Singh files suit against the PGA Tour over deer antler spray

Jay Busbee
Devil Ball Golf

The deer antler spray saga will not die.

Vijay Singh has filed suit against the PGA Tour, charging that the Tour failed in its duties to properly investigate deer antler spray and allowed Singh to be subject to "public humiliation and ridicule." Singh had admitted to using deer antler spray earlier this year, and at the time it was on the Tour's list of banned substances. The World Anti-Doping Association has since provided the Tour with information that led the Tour to remove it from the list of banned substances.

That was not enough for Singh. "Rather than performing its duties to golfers first, and then determining whether there had been any violation of the Anti-Doping Program, the PGA Tour rushed to judgment and accused one of the world's hardest working and most dedicated golfers of violating the rules of the game," the suit states.

"Singh seeks damages for the PGA Tour's reckless administration and implementation of its Anti-Doping Program," Singh's attorney, Peter Ginsberg, said in a statement. "After exposing Singh, one of the PGA Tour's most respected and hardest working golfers, to public humiliation and ridicule for months, and forcing Singh to perform the type of scientific analyses and review that the PGA Tour was responsible for performing, the PGA Tour finally admitted that the grounds on which it sought to impose discipline were specious and unsupportable."

The usage of deer antler spray in sports first came to light in a 2011 Yahoo! Sports investigation, and later became a flashpoint for controversy during this year's Super Bowl. According to the suit, Singh compared the ingredients in deer antler spray to the list of the Tour's banned substances and found no correlation. However, a later test of his urine found the banned substance IGF-1. Singh apparently did not consult with the Tour prior to using the spray, and unwittingly confessed to its use in a January "Sports Illustrated" article.

In February, the Tour was prepared to ban Singh for 90 days, but he appealed and continued to play, with the caveat that he would forfeit his winnings if he lost his appeal. In April, WADA removed deer antler spray from its list of banned substances, and the Tour later dropped its action against Singh.

The Tour has declined comment on the suit, but Tim Finchem addressed the matter on Tuesday, before the suit was filed. "If I was him, I'm not so sure I'd talk about it," Finchem said. "I'd kind of like for it to be gone. He didn't do what he probably should have done, what we ask players to do, but it was all a function that came out as a function of his admission. I don't know what he would add to that."

The suit seeks unspecified damages.

-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-

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