On the eve of the British Open, Rory McIlroy ripped the PGA and the sport of golf for subpar drug testing, electing to pull no punches when it came to how easy it could be to cheat and get away with it.
While the move was an effort to clean the sport up, the comments will also lead to speculation that golfers are using performance-enhancing drugs, especially in the wake of so many top golfers electing to not play in the Rio Olympics.
McIlroy was frank with the statements he made, saying golf needs stronger drug testing if it’s to be viewed “as a mainstream sport.” He criticised the PGA for not using blood testing, noting that he could use HGH and get away with it.
Here are McIlroy’s comments:
“I don’t really know of any drug that can give you an advantage all the way across the board. There are obviously drugs that can make you stronger. There are drugs that can help your concentration. But whether there’s something out there where it can make you an overall better player, I’m not sure. Physically, obviously, you can get stronger, recover faster. So, I mean, for example, HGH is only — you can’t really pick it up in a urine test. I could use HGH and get away with it. So I think blood testing is something that needs to happen in golf just to make sure that it is a clean sport going forward. But, yeah, I think if golf is in the Olympics and golf wants to be seen as a mainstream sport as such, it has to get in line with the other sports that test more rigorously.”
McIlroy also noted how little testing there is in golf.
“I’ve been tested by the IGF or Olympic testing once this year and that was the Friday of the US Open, but it was only a urine test,” McIlroy said. “I on average probably get tested four to five times a year, which is very little compared to the rest of the Olympic sports. Obviously I’ve gotten to know a lot of athletes over the years, and whether it be coming to their houses and doing blood and urine, I think drug testing in golf is still quite far behind some of the other sports.”
These comments, together with the large number of golfers skipping the Rio Olympics, opens up those golfers to criticism and speculation. With the Olympics drug testing being much more stringent, it will lead some to wonder if some golfers are skipping the Rio games to avoid the more stringent tests.
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