Vijay Singh’s suit against PGA may come back to bite him
If there’s one thing PGA Tour member Vijay Singh doesn’t have, it is many friends and allies among his peer group. Lots of money usually doesn’t buy many friends, but it can always get a competent counsel if one is needed.
And after the PGA learned from a Sports Illustrated report that Singh might have used a banned substance, it started their process seeking to determine whether the deer antler spray that Singh admitted using or any of its ingredients qualified as a banned substance.
According to an article written by ESPN.com, under the PGA program, to be banned, the substance must “affect muscle, tendon, or ligament protein synthesis/degradation, vascularization, energy utilization, regenerative capacity or fiber type switching.” Without any of these physiological effects, the substance is legal.
There is little doubt that the PGA Tour’s testing of the deer antler spray that Singh admittedly used, and its attempt to impose discipline on Singh, was at best a comedy of errors, the article continued.
Confronted with insurmountable evidence that the deer antler spray did not qualify for the PGA ban, the tour had no choice, according to ESPN.com, and abandoned its attack on Singh.
It’s easy to see why the PGA drug program has not worked real well. The drug testing programs in the four major team sports were forged in collective bargaining between team owners and the player unions, a process that has been checked and re-checked, written and re-written. And there still have been some flaws.
The PGA dropped its program on the players without the scrutiny of a bargaining process. Players agree to the plan each year when they renew their tour memberships.
So Singh filed a lawsuit claiming that the PGA Tour was “reckless” in its attempt to operate its drug testing program and caused “an unjust blemish on his personal and professional record.”
Singh hired high-powered attorney Peter Ginsberg who claims the banned substance present in the deer antler spray was in such a miniscule amount, like a shot of liquor in a swimming pool.
Ginsberg also pointed that the substance was biologically dead and could not work even in a larger amount. He added that the substance must be injected, not sprayed, to have any effect.
“As a direct and proximate result of the PGA Tour’s actions, Singh has been humiliated, ashamed, ridiculed, scorned and emotionally distraught,” reads the lawsuit filed with the New York State Supreme Court.
Ginsberg is a tenacious and relentless advocate who has succeeded in sports cases more difficult that the Singh situation. He fought the NFL to a standstill for trying to suspend defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams for steroid violations.
The attorney also represented Jonathan Vilma in the New Orleans bounty scandal and assisted Michael Vick in his bankruptcy difficulties.
However, Singh’s claim that he suffered “an unjust blemish on his personal and professional record” will allow the PGA lawyers to dig into Singh’s background for other personal and professional blemishes and according to ESPN.com, they will find both.
Singh criticized LPGA stalwart Annika Sorenstam’s participation in the 2003 Colonial and publicly stated that he hoped she would miss the cut.
In addition to his attack on Sorenstam, ESPN.com points out that the PGA lawyers will tell the jury about Singh’s attempt to change his scorecard in the Indonesian Open in 1985 so he could make the cut– a serious professional “blemish” that has followed Singh for nearly 30 years.
“The surly Fijian, who contravened the PGA Tour’s drug policy, got off on a technicality earlier this month but then later sued because of the damage done to his character, isn’t exactly golf’s Mr. Congeniality,” commented Foxsports.com.
“He’s curt with his peers, ignores fans and treats the media that covers him with virtually complete disdain, and he wears golf’s scarlet letter—Cheater,” the article continued. “Golfers value nothing more than playing strictly by the rules of the game.
And when the PGA lawyers get to the emotional distress portion of Singh’s lawsuit, they will remind the jurors that Vijay used to work as a nightclub bouncer in tough bars, so he’s not a man easily distressed.
They’ll bring up the cheating and Singh’s notoriously bad treatment of caddies and the acrimonious divorce from his ex-wife. It will get ugly.
But Vijay Singh brought it all upon himself by not just letting the PGA Tour admit it made a mistake about deciding to get into the drug testing business and go on about his business of playing golf for a living.
KWICKIES…The Lamar Cardinal baseball team did a great job of staying alive in last week’s Southland Conference tournament before finally getting bounced out 7-2 by Southeastern Louisiana in the semifinals Saturday. But the fifth-seeded Redbirds used a stout bullpen to clamor out wins in the loser’s bracket after dropping their game in the first round. The Cards ended the season 39-20 and posted 17 more victories than the 2012 team that didn’t even qualify for the post-season tournament. The SLC tournament was won by Central Arkansas which shut out Southeastern La. 4-0 in the championship game.
And in a touch of irony closer to home, Bridge City was eliminated from the state high school baseball playoffs May 4 when ace pitcher Hayden Guidry, who had given up only one hit to Huffman, had a bad inning fifth inning where Huffman scored five runs and won 5-4. Last weekend former Bridge City ace pitcher Jake Lemoine, who was the top pitcher for the University of Houston despite being only a college freshman, was breezing along enjoying his best outing as a Cougar pitcher against Tulane in the Conference USA baseball tournament. Lemoine gave up two singles in the first inning against the Green Wave and then retired the next 16 batters he faced, beautifully protecting a 2-0 U of H lead. But a walk, a couple of Tulane singles and a costly error found the Cougars trailing 3-2 which was the final score and Houston was eliminated from the tournament. Saturday’s loss marked the final appearance in a C-USA event for Houston, which is moving to the American Athletic Conference after this season.
The first “CBS College Football Game of the Week” will feature national champion Alabama at Texas A&M Sept. 14 at Kyle Field in College Station. The game is set to kick off at 2:30 p.m. when the average high temperature in September at College Station is 91 degrees and temperatures on the Kyle Field turf occasionally reach 120 degrees. So the Aggies should have an advantage from the weather standpoint over the Crimson Tide where temperatures in Tuscaloosa are considerably lower in September. The two teams also played at 2:30 p.m. last season in Tuscaloosa, but the 72-degree November temperature played no factor in the Aggies’ 29-24 upset victory over the Crimson Tide.
District 21-3A baseball champion Silsbee Tigers will meet Diboll this week for the Region III title and the right to play in the state finals in Austin next week. The Tigers defeated Diboll 6-4 in Silsbee’s first regular game of the season back on Feb. 18.
The Houston Astros were leading the Oakland A’s 5-3 in the top of the ninth inning Friday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston when manager Bo Porter called on his closer Jose Veras to preserve the victory. Unlike any closer in the major leagues, Veras walked two of the first three hitters and then hung a curveball to Houston native Chris Young and in a jiffy the A’s led 6-5 and our feeble Astros found yet another way to lose in the ninth inning.
JUST BETWEEN US…A personal note to those criminal wannabees who broke down the door of the Sunset Grove Country Club pro shop Saturday night and stole cases of warm beer and some golfing apparel. There was no need to even dust for fingerprints or gather DNA samples from you bozos because our cameras took some beautiful photos of your faces and we will even pay someone if necessary to identify you. But we will give you an option of either being caught by the law enforcement personnel and put away in jail with REAL criminals or contacting the pro shop (883-9454) and working out a reimbursement plan. It’s only your futures, so do the right thing, please!!!