Do You Care that Vijay took a Banned Substance?

By: purgatorygolf on February 1st, 2013

Do you care that Vijay took a banned substance?” A friend asked over dinner.

Yes, absolutely I care. We have a son that aspires to be a professional golfer. Vijay apparently didn’t know it was a banned substance, but if you look at the description of the product it sounds just like a steroid to me.


We have discussed steroid use a great deal with the recent Lance Armstrong controversy. Our 11-year-old son doesn’t understand why anyone would take a drug that is banned. My husband explains, “Steroids help you recover from injuries more quickly, feel less pain, build muscle, you can work out longer without feeling the pain or getting tired, you recover from your workouts more quickly, sort of like being the bionic man.” Who wouldn’t want to be the bionic man?

I vividly remember Lyle Alzado, the former football player coming forward about his steroid abuse. He humanized the problem when he explained the irresistible temptation to take a drug that could make you stronger, faster, bigger, more aggressive, and more competitive. Alzado believed his steroid abuse was the cause of his brain cancer that lead to his death at age 43.

Steroids are a modern miracle when used short term for a sick person. Long term they are dangerous. Even short term they can be dangerous because they deaden your sensitivity to pain. They must be used very carefully.

Deer antler spray

Deer antler spray is a banned product that contains IGF-1, which is an insulin like growth hormone that naturally occurs in the body. The company claims the spray has an anabolic or growth stimulation, and repairs muscle damage following exercise.

Lots of people say there is no research to support those statements, and that it can’t be taken orally, it has to be given through injections in order to work. I don’t know if it works, but if it does, it sounds just like steroids, it grows and repairs muscle.


In horse racing, they always test the winners, every winner, right after the race, and it’s a blood test. That makes sense to me. Apparently the PGA Tour doesn’t want to test blood because none of the other professional sports are testing blood. If the blood tests are more accurate, test the blood; don’t let the NFL be the role model. If Lyle Alzado were here today, he would beg you to test blood.

There are ways to game the system, but make it hard. Athletes have admitted they cannot resist the temptation to take a drug that will make them stronger. Help them resist the temptation.

4 Responses

  1. Jim Conrad says:

    Perhaps Vjay had not learned his leson years ago, with his incorrect score card. That caused a 2 year suspension. Perhaps a stern penality will again get his attention, and make those sitting on the fence, think twice prior to taking any banned substance, and using poor judgement.

  2. Jeffery Passage says:

    We have to look at the culture at large. In sports, we come down hard on athletes who go the doping route. But, at the same time, we encourage, condone or accept that musicians and many in the arts consume many illegal substances to enhance their performances. We also have made it acceptable for alcohol and smoking (and swearing) to be a routine part of business, social, and even golf events. What we accept or not needs to be consistent.