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Apologetic Singh faces ban

Last updated: 31st January 2013


Vijay Singh: Centre of controversy

Vijay Singh: Centre of controversy

Former world number one Vijay Singh is facing a lengthy ban after he admitted taking a banned substance.

The 49-year-old three-time major winner issues a statement confessing that he used the deer antler spray, which is prohibited under the PGA Tour's anti-doping laws.

"'I am absolutely shocked that deer antler spray may contain a banned substance and am angry that I have put myself in this position," said Singh said on Wednesday.

The Fijian was forced to make a public statement after an article in Sports Illustrated named him as a prime user of the spray, although the article quotes Singh in such a fashion that they back up his defense that he acted out of ignorance.

In the Sports Illustrated article, he said that he uses the spray it "every couple of hours...every day", before adding: "I'm looking forward to some change in my body. It's really hard to feel the difference if you've only been doing it for a couple of months."

While flagrant ignorance might serve as extenuating circumstances for the big Fijian, it won't save him from a ban from the sport.

The PGA Tour gives golfers repeated warnings that under no circumstances should they use deer antler spray, which is banned by most professional sports.

The spray contains IGF-1 - a hormone similar in structure to insulin that plays an important role in childhood growth and continues to have anabolic effects in adults.

Sports Illustrated described the hormone as a 'natural anabolic hormone that stimulates muscle growth' and helps with recovery from injury.

Ironically, Singh's career began with a suspension from the Asian Tour in 1985 for alleged cheating, and it seems as if his career could end in a similar limp fashion.

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