Claims against Tiger Woods strongly refuted by agent, PGA Tour (Updated)
Update, 1:35 p.m.: According to ESPN.com, Olsen has retracted his claims about Woods' suspension. "Everything I said on that radio interview was only my opinion and not based on any firsthand knowledge or facts," Olsen told ESPN.com on Monday. "I want to make a full retraction to everything I said for the entire radio interview, and I apologize to Tiger, Nike, Phil [Mickelson], [commissioner] Tim Finchem and the PGA Tour."
Earlier: A claim by a former PGA Tour player that Tiger Woods is serving a suspension by the tour was shot down Monday by both the tour and Woods' agent in strongly worded denials.
Dan Olsen, 48, told 730AM The Game in Lansing, Mich., last Friday that Woods is serving a 30-day suspension. Olsen, who played 31 events on the tour in 2004 and now teaches and caddies, told the radio station: "I heard he's on a month's suspension . . . it's kind of a strong witness. It's a credible person who is telling me this. It's not testosterone, but it's something else. I think when it's all said and done, he's gonna surpass Lance Armstrong with infamy.''
Ty Votaw, PGA Tour executive vice president for communications and international affairs, said, "There is no truth whatsoever to these claims. We can categorically deny these allegations." Added Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg of Excel Sports Management: "These claims are absolutely, unequivocally and completely false. They are unsourced, unverified and completely ridiculous. The PGA Tour has confirmed that there is no truth to these claims." Olsen also claimed that Woods uses a "cheater ball.'' Woods, like many other tour players representing many companies, uses a version of the Nike ball that is not available to the public but one that conforms to USGA standards.
The policy of the PGA Tour is to not comment on disciplinary matters. When drug testing went into effect in July 2008, the tour said it would inform media of any penalties for performance-enhancing drugs after the player had exhausted all appeals. The tour also said it would not disclose failed tests involving recreational drugs.
Woods, who missed much of last season after back surgery, missed the cut in his first tournament of 2015 and then withdrew after 11 holes of his second event. He later said that his withdrawal was not related to his back surgery, adding that he would not return to tour until he felt his game was ready for competition.
With the Masters barely more than a month away, Woods has little time in which to prepare for an attempt to end a winless streak in the major championships that dates to the 2008 U.S. Open.