Last updated: 14th October 2008
Now a few months on from Gary Player's outlandish claim that he knew of at least 10 players taking drugs on tour, there is still no testing I have heard of.
Certainly, Player is a thunder-stealing egomaniac at the best of times. He has been doing it for years, from claiming to be the adult with the most air miles in history to scrabbling around for the praise when a young South African wins something big.
It was Player's phone call that gave Masters winner Trevor Immelman the boost he needed to win the Masters this year; it was Player's record that spurred Ernie Els on to win the majors he has won thus far, and it was Player's reputation, not an enormous cheque, that drew players to The Nedbank Golf Challenge.
So when he made his comments about drugs on the eve of a major tournament, it smacked of a man craving another lap in the limelight when the cameras had long turned elsewhere. Those who knew Player took his words with a habitual pinch of salt.
He may be getting old, but he's not senile; Player himself will tell you that he still does 1000 one-arm push ups with John Daly on his back every morning. And his mind is as sharp as ever. Which is why, notwithstanding his habit for hyperbole, his comments can't be shrugged off.
The major tours seem to have paid little heed to the issue, in spite of several players having encouraged testing. There have been as many players and officials who have rubbished the idea, but now that the question has been posed, it will not be settled by inaction.
Both the US PGA and European Tours announced earlier this year that testing for illegal drugs would begin in July (2008). Nothing further has been heard. This could either be because there have been tests, but no positive results, in which case the tour has kept strangely schtum, or - which is more likely - there have been no tests.
Are there drugs in golf? There really is only one way to find out.
It's not hard to organise. Golf tournaments have the advantage of fielding most, and often all, of the world's top players. Testing at one of the four majors would knock the task on its head.
It isn't costly, considering the vindication it would bring to the game. It isn't time consuming.
One wonders what exactly is stopping the respective tours from implementing it - or talking about their progress if they have.
There is very little to lose. Unless, of course, they know something that we don't.
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