Editors' Blog
July 30, 2007

Player's Comments

Right now there is no cheating in golf because we don't ban anything. Gary Player

We got several very nasty letters about Gary Player's statements that steroids have made their way to the PGA Tour. Here is the nice part of Wisconsin reader Dave Riffey's letter:

The comments of Gary Player are evidence of an aging old man who has lost his way. Typical, is his lack of intestinal fortitude to give the names.

Paul Andre Van Reenen of St. Catharine's Ontario took the occasion to criticize Player for not doing enough to fight apartheid. That's a discussion for another day. (The fact is, Player's recent efforts have been acknowledged by Nelson Mandela).

Graned, Player seems to love attention and his comments in Carnoustie shed little light on the question. As Golf World's Ron Sirak pointed out, he left the story on the floor. He should have named names if he was going to come forward with these accusations.

Player defends himself in this coming week's Golf World:

"Tiger Woods and other top players have been calling for testing, so why the big fuss when I say something. All I'm saying is that we have to have a policy. Lots of golfers have taken things like beta blockers and many have said soâ¿¿Right now there's no cheating in golf because we don't ban anything. Once we start testing the ones who are taking things are going to stop. That's the beautiful thing about having a policy."

Just one person's opinion, but much of the upset over Player's comments seem to me to be rooted in denial. The world of golf would like to think itself holier and cleaner than thou, or at least than other sports. Okay, then let's prove it. Player was simply saying if you do test, you'll find something or put a stop to what he believes is already there.

Deane Beman used to say that the Tour had drug testing. It was called the four-footer. Player says that's not good enough any more. A lot of drug experts agree with him.

--Bob Carney