Is There Doping In Golf? Of Course There Is!

A Reuters article datelined from the site of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship focuses on comments by Thomas Bjorn, Henrik Stenson and Richard Green, comments in which those three golfers dismiss the idea that doping might exist in professional golf.

"I would find it very surprising if we encountered any enhancing drugs in golf," Stenson said.

Said Bjorn: "In golf we do our drug-testing and it seems to be a very clean sport. We can be proud of that."

Awwwwwww, that's adorable.

Of course there is doping going on professional golf! Given everything we know now about performance-enhancing drug use in some other sports, given that we know drug tests are routinely beaten by some of the worst dopers in sports history (Lance Armstrong: "I've never failed a drug test!"), given that one or two pro golfers have actually been caught ... well, you'd have to be extremely naive to think no pro golfers are doping.

In the cycling world, as an example, doping was so rampant that the best cyclists felt they simply could not win unless they, too, were doping. I'm not suggesting that anything even remotely like that is going on in golf.

I'm not suggesting that any top golfers, or any specific golfers at all, are doping. But look at the money involved. Imagine the desperation that golfers (like any other individuals competing in big -money sports) feel to win or feel to avoid losing access to all that cash and the lifestyle; imaging the desperate fear of failure that all sportsmen feel. I'll say it again: of course there is doping in golf.

One of the ways that fans and pro golfers dismiss the idea is by stating that pro golfers wouldn't benefit from any of the PEDs used in other sports. "I don't know what you could take to help you perform better in golf," said Stenson.

I don't either. Maybe human growth hormone to speed recovery from injury; maybe beta-blockers or something similar to calm nerves.

It doesn't matter if a drug actually has a benefit, it only matters if an athlete thinks it might, and is desperate enough to give it a try. (This is actually common throughout all levels of golf right down to the weekend hacker - it explains why golfers so often fall prey to scams such as supposedly magic bracelets.)

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