Pubdate: Thu, 10 Dec 2009
Source: Australian, The (Australia)
Copyright: 2009sThe Australian
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)
Bookmark: (Cocaine)


THE Australian PGA could be the last major tournament on the local
tour to be conducted without drug-testing.

Officials confirmed yesterday they were eyeing off the introduction of
a drug-testing regime in the middle of next year, bringing the
Australasian tour into line with the US and Europe.

The imminent introduction of drug-testing in all major Australian
tournaments comes amid reports in US newspapers that Tiger Woods mixed
sleeping drug ambien with alcohol to enhance his sex life. A few
months ago, the Queensland State of Origin side was investigated over
rumours its players had mixed Stilnox -- the Australian equivalent of
Ambien -- with alcohol to simulate the effects of cocaine.

An investigation failed to find any evidence to warrant players being

Australia's elite golfers have been subjected to drug-testing on the
US and European tours since the middle of last year. Golf Australia --
which runs the Australian Open -- has also been WADA-compliant for
some time, although it is understood testing is yet to be carried out
at the Open. The PGA Tour of Australia -- the sanctioning body for the
Masters, PGA and Open -- is yet to adopt a regime, although it has
been in talks with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency.

"We were looking to introduce something next year, whether that's at
the start or in the middle of next year," PGA of Australia chief
executive Max Garske said.

The introduction of drug-testing has become even more important given
golf is now an Olympic sport. However, the problem for PGA Tour of
Australia officials is finding a policy which meets local standards
while not conflicting with policies in the US and Europe.
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D