'Golf is a very clean sport'
Last updated: 20th January 2013
Three well-known figures in the world of golf are convinced there is no doping in the sport.
On the back of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong's admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs during all seven of his Tour de France victories, fans are now asking questions about whether or not it is happening in other sports.
In recent days the world of tennis has condemned the American and also dismissed suggestions there is doping in their sport and now golfers Thomas Bjorn, Henrik Stenson and Richard Green have done the same.
Stenson, who was ranked as high as number four in the world at one stage and won seven times on the European Tour and twice on the PGA, told Reuters golf is clean.
"I would find it very surprising if we encountered any enhancing drugs in golf," he said in Abu Dhabi.
"I don't know what you could take to help you perform better in golf. Viagra maybe - to hit it long and straight," he said with a cheeky grin.
"I am happy I am in a sport where (doping) seems to be very, very rare."
He added: "It's obviously sad in any sport when the great heroes you expect to be clean, aren't. Cycling's had a lot of problems with this issue but thankfully golf is in a different situation.
"There have been certain sports we've known about for years where people have been caught taking illegal stuff...he is just another one in that category.
"It makes it even sadder when it is one of the greats who gets caught cheating. There's not much I can do about it myself except stay clean and hope most people (in golf) think the same way."
Chairman of the European Tour's Players Committee Bjorn says the sport can't afford to have any doping problems as they prepare for the 2016 Olympics.
"In golf we do our drug-testing and it seems to be a very clean sport," the Dane told Reuters.
"Being part of the Olympics again in 2016, there is going to be more focus and attention on it but we believe ours is a clean sport and we don't seem to have any big issues with stuff like that."
Australian Green feels golfers are winning on the back of the hard work they put in.
"Golf's not like cycling," he said. "I just don't think there is anything the guys can take to improve their performances.
"It is just down to hard work, hard practice, good technique and the right equipment...and I think that's what the guys are doing out here.
"In my opinion it (Armstrong's case) was human nature's way of crossing the line. Everyone's trying to look for an easier way to do just about anything.
"Whether it's digging a hole, rather than using a shovel people use a big digger instead. Cyclists have just found an easier way to do it."
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