Category: Doug Barron

December 04, 2013

PGA Tour won't reveal drug violators to Vijay Singh

Posted at 5:03 PM by Pete Madden
Vijay Singh
Credit: Getty Images


In the latest twist in Vijay Singh's case against the PGA Tour, the Tour rebuffed Singh's sweeping discovery requests, including demands for documents and communications related to the "possible or acutal violation of the [Tour's Anti-Doping] Program" of five current professional golfers: Doug Barron, Matt Every, Mark Calcavecchia, Scott Verplank and Dustin Johnson.

In a letter to Justice Eileen Bransten of the New York State Supreme Court, the Tour's attorney, Jeffrey Mishkin of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, called Singh's discovery requests "overreaching" and "irrelevant," arguing that "these individuals have nothing to do with this litigation. Mr. Singh cannot and should not be permitted, in the guise of discovery, to engage in a fishing expedition that risks further harm to the interests of these and any other third-party golfers."

Singh's lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, contends that information about the way the PGA Tour treated other golfers suspected or accused of violating the Tour's anti-doping program "will evidence the full extent of the PGA Tour's disparate treatment of Singh."

Three of the five golfers named in discovery have had previously reported run-ins with the Tour's drug policy.

Ginsberg declined to explain why the other two golfers -- five-time PGA Tour winner Verplank and eight-time winner Johnson -- were included in Singh's discovery request or whether he will be seeking information about other PGA Tour players in the future.

Documents concerning other golfers are just one of four categories of information sought by Singh and his legal team. In addition to "all documents and communications related to any positive tests by any golfer for any substance listed as a banned substance under the Program," Ginsberg also requested information concerning the structure of the Tour's anti-doping program, membership renewal forms and stance on colostrum, a substance that contains IGF-1 (the same hormone in deer antler spray) but is not banned, an all-out offensive designed to force the Tour to bring the details of its anti-doping program out of the shadows.

"Vijay alleges -- and it is historically obvious -- that the PGA Tour has administered many facets of the business in an inconsistent manner," said Ginsberg. "The PGA Tour presently is attempting to keep from disclosure evidence of the manner in which it has engaged in that type of disparate treatment of players. One goal of the discovery is to force the PGA Tour to come clean with regard to how it administers the golf business."

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September 30, 2010

Doug Barron granted testosterone exemption

Posted at 12:20 PM by Cameron Morfit

Nov17_barron_299x280 Doug Barron, who became the first player to run afoul of the PGA Tour’s anti-doping regulations when he tested positive for a beta-blocker and testosterone in June 2008 and was suspended for the 2009 season, has been granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for testosterone by the Tour.

"I have submitted new medical information that meets the criteria set
 forth by the PGA Tour Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee and am
 pleased to announce that they granted me a TUE for testosterone that
 will allow me to treat my condition in compliance with the PGA Tour
 Anti-Doping Policy,” Barron said in a statement Thursday. “After now having completed my one-year suspension, I look forward to again being eligible to compete on the
 PGA Tour and Nationwide Tour.”

The beta-blockers, according to Barron’s lawsuit against the Tour, were to control anxiety brought on by a heart murmur, mitral valve prolapse, first diagnosed in 1987.

Barron was diagnosed in 2005 with abnormally low testosterone, with what he contended was a reading of only 78, well below the normal range for his age. Low testosterone affects fellow Tour pro Shaun Micheel, among others, and leads to feelings of lethargy and depression.

After an arduous four-month medical-review process, Micheel was granted a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for testosterone cream, his agent, Alan Bullington, told last year. A TUE allows a player to continue using a banned substance for legitimate medical reasons.

Unlike Micheel, who like Barron lives in Memphis, Barron failed to convince the Tour that his testosterone was so low it required supplementation. According to Barron and his lawyers, Barron's doctors said one thing and the Tour's said another, until now.

Photo: Greg Nelson/SI

November 16, 2009

Doug Barron appeal denied, but he will fight on

Posted at 8:41 PM by Dick Friedman

Doug Barron, who last week sued the PGA Tour for reinstatement after becoming the first player to be suspended under the Tour's anti-doping policy, has had his motion for a temporary restraining order denied. According to the AP,  U.S. Magistrate Judge Tu Pham ruled on Monday in Memphis that  Barron did not show a likelihood that he would win on his claims argued in a hearing last Friday. Barron was suspended for a year after testing positive at last June's St. Jude Classic for beta-blockers and testosterone, both of which he has claimed should be allowed under a medical-necessity exemption. Had Barron been successful in receiving the restraining order, he would have entered a Q school tournament in Houston later this week. 

After the ruling, Barron spoke exclusively to's Cameron Morfit in Houston and said that he is planning his next legal move. "I thought that regardless of the ultimate outcome that they'd let me compete in Q school," the 40-year-old Barron told Morfit. "I've got to find a way to provide for my family in the next year. I don't think this will be the end of it."

November 04, 2009

Alan Shipnuck's Mailbag: Drugs in golf, Tiger, Phil, Stricker and more

Posted at 9:21 AM by Alan Shipnuck

"Drug Barron, sorry, Doug Barron hasn't made a cut all year on the Nationwide Tour. What the heck was he taking? Mogadon?" -- Paul Mahoney

Duog-barron-shirtless That's a funny line, but I know Tim Finchem isn't laughing. I, for one, am glad someone finally got caught, which is proof that the Tour's drug-testing program works. Of course there are pro golfers taking performance-enhancing drugs. They cheat on their wives and their taxes, but they're not going to indulge in a little chemistry that could significantly boost their careers, just because it's a game of honor, etc.? I never bought that argument.

The most interesting aspect of the Barron suspension has been the reaction of other players and various Tour apologists. They have offered Barron's pudgy physique as proof that he couldn't possibly have been using PEDs. This is so silly. A lot of baseball players who were juicing were pitchers. They didn't want to get yoked; they wanted to help their bodies recover. Might a golfer who hits 500 balls a day be looking for the same help? PEDs don't necessarily make you bigger and more muscular, they just provide extra endurance.

If that means more 400-pound bench presses, then yes, you're gonna wind up looking like Barry Bonds. But if all that athlete is doing is hitting a bunch of golf balls, then he can still look like Doug Barron, even while breaking the rules.

"Does Tiger have a set tradition after winning a tourney? Is there champagne on the plane...does he give his wife $100k? What goes on after a win?" — Mitchell Page

Yes, there is a tradition. He goes to sleep, wakes up the next morning at 5 a.m. and begins practicing for the next tournament. The 2007 PGA Championship is instructive. The week before, Tiger won at Firestone, in Akron, Ohio. By the time he finished all the interviews and ceremonies it was after 7 p.m. The next morning at dawn he was on the first tee at Southern Hills in Tulsa, about a thousand miles away. That's the kind of dedication that makes him Tiger Woods.

"I live near Madison and want to know if Steve Stricker is that nice all the time or does he have a side of him that is a jokester or less serious than we see him on TV? I mean, come on, is he that humble all the time?" -- Stuart

Unfortunately, yes, which means there's nothing salacious or controversial to write about the guy. Stricker might be the nicest human being on the planet. The only group of people who are gossipier and cattier than Tour wives are Tour caddies, and I've never heard anyone from either of these tribes say a single bad thing about the guy. I think we're all gonna have to just accept that Stricker is the Mother Theresa of golf.

Woods-mickelson-china "Tiger and Lefty seem to be getting along better lately. Is this just my imagination or are they starting to respect each other more?"  -- Roy

You know what Tiger respects? Achievement. When Phil blew him away on Sunday at the Tour Championship, that definitely got Tiger's attention. But no question their bond has been strengthened this year. It began with Amy Mickelson. Don't forget that Woods lost his dad to cancer. After Amy's diagnosis, Tiger sent Phil a number of heartfelt text messages that touched the Mickelsons deeply. Throw in their co-starring roles at the Presidents Cup, and this year has definitely brought Tiger and Phil closer together.

"At one stage Stack and Tilt seemed to be all the rage on Tour. Lately it seems to be fading out, especially after they lost Aaron Baddeley (who happened to be on the cover of their expensive DVD). What's the verdict on Tour? Has it been exposed as just another silver-bullet gimmick or does it still have a devoted following?" -- Marc 

A little of both, actually. As noted by another reader, Mike Weir has also jumped off the bandwagon. He and Baddeley both struggled with the driver during their S 'n T days. It's a swing that promotes a pretty steep swing plane, which can lead to solid contact with irons but inconsistency with the big stick. Beyond that, you have to remember that Tour players are lemmings. As soon as something seems to work they'll all try it, whether it's the Claw or Twitter or saucy tennis players. Then something new comes along and many players move on. When Dean Wilson wins the Masters, S 'n T will surely enjoy a comeback.

"What are the chances that we can get a game together where we have all of these super young guns pitted against each other on live TV for some serious cash? I'm thinking 21 and under here so it would be Rory McIlroy, Ryo Ishikawa, Rickie Fowler, Danny Lee and Jamie Lovemark. It would be quite a show featuring the future of the sport. And just think of the potential ramifications—it could start a MUCH needed rivalry that golf needs to make itself more relevant." -- Michael

This is the best idea I've heard in a while. Maybe this batch of youngsters could bring the Skins Game back from the dead. The problem with golf is that the compelling head-to-head matchups we crave happen so rarely. With their varying home bases and exempt status, the above Fab Five will only be in the same field a handful of times next year. The chances of even a couple of them showing up on the same leaderboard is remote. The made-for-TV spectacles have always focused on the same tired big names, but someone—Golf Channel?—should organize a series of Wonderful World of Golf style matches with all these intriguing young talents. Will it happen? I doubt it, but we can dream.

"Same question I ask every week: Why does only Tiger and no other player wear bright red on Sunday? Happy for anyone to tell me. Must not be Alan." --  JC

JC, I was hoping you would take the hint, but apparently not. So once and for all: Tiger wears the red shirt because his mom, Tida, did some kind of Thai-style voodoo and discerned that red is Tiger's "power color" and therefore he should wear it on Sundays. Once he won a few times, a tradition was born. It is funny how he has taken ownership of the color. I remember when Luke Donald wore red on Sunday at the '06 PGA when he was paired with Tiger. Polo had scripted Donald's outfits weeks in advance and he chose not to deviate. A lot of folks took that as him being uppity, which is ridiculous—it's just a shirt! A funny post-script was the Monday playoff at Torrey, when Rocco busted out red, assuming that Tiger would wear his only on Sunday. Wrong. Woods wore red for a second day in a row, and when he saw Rocco at the range before the round he muttered, "Nice shirt." Only in Tiger's universe can you talk trash about a guy's sartorial selection.

Photo: (Barron); Getty Images (Woods, Mickelson)

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