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Singh out of event, day after exonerated

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Vijay Singh withdrew from the Wells Fargo Championship because of a sore back Wednesday, one day after the PGA Tour said it would not punish the Fijian for his admission that he used deer antler spray.

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The tour said Tuesday the World Anti-Doping Agency informed it that the spray contains only small amounts of a growth hormone factor that is banned under the anti-doping policy.

The tour had been set to sanction Singh until WADA clarified its position on deer antler spray.

The 50-year-old Singh, a past champion at Quail Hollow, is among several players who have withdrawn this week.

He declined to comment to a PGA Tour media official Tuesday after the tour dropped his case on the anti-doping violation. Singh has not spoken to reporters since he released a statement in late January that said he was shocked to learn the deer antler spray he had been taking might contain IGF-1, which is on the banned list.

Singh admitted to taking the spray in a Sports Illustrated story, which also linked Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis to the product.

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said Tuesday that while admission is tantamount to a failed drug test, WADA informed the tour late last week that it no longer considers the use of deer antler spray to be prohibited except for a positive test result.

The tour said it tested the spray that Singh provided, and it showed a presence of IGF-1. WADA subsequently told the tour that IGF-1 is known to contain small amounts of the hormone factor.

``I don't know of a substance or a transfer mechanism out there that can load a person to IGF levels that would get the attention of the WADA science people,'' Finchem said Tuesday. ``Clearly, this isn't one. They've made that clear to us.''

Singh's case had the attention of PGA Tour players for the last three months, and it ended with a peculiar twist.

``Clearly, it was the right decision based on the information we have today,'' said Joe Ogilvie, a member of the Player Advisory Council. ``Players just have to be very careful whenever they pay more than $3,000 a month for supplements. That's the lesson to be learned.

``I thought what Vijay was doing was on the edge.''

Rory McIlroy also agreed with the outcome, saying that WADA's decision meant there was little the PGA Tour could have done.

``Look, my stance on it is Vijay didn't know he was doing anything wrong,'' he said, ``and if there's no intention there, then I don't see any reason to unfairly punish him.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
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