The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Greg Norman rekindles drugs debate

Greg Norman has revealed that, when he was the world No. 1 during the late Eighties, he offered a urine sample to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club and the US Golf Association to help get a drug-testing programme under way. The offer was declined and the programme never went ahead.

Norman volunteered this bit of information during a question and answer session involving himself, Nick Faldo, Peter Lonard and Ernie Els at the official dinner at last week’s Heineken Classic in Melbourne.

The topic had been aired by the compere who, out of the blue, asked Faldo if he had ever taken drugs. Looking bemused, Faldo answered in the negative. “You have to be kidding,” he said. “There aren’t any drugs that can enhance a golfer’s performance, anyway. The sport is as clean as a whistle.”

At the end of last week, Norman expanded on why he had been anxious to see a drug-testing programme all those years ago. “I’ve always been high on morals and integrity in this game and I felt it was the right thing to do,” he said, “especially when there was so much drug abuse going on in other sports.

“I did not think that there was anything going on in golf. It was just that I felt it was important to show that it was not happening.”

Though John Daly once hinted that he knew of the odd drug-taker among his professional colleagues, allegations in a Spanish daily on the eve of the 2001 French Open at Lyons caused rather more disquiet.

The paper claimed that the reason so many players were pulling out of the tournament was because of a drug-testing policy in France which would embrace the visiting golfers. The PGA European Tour scotched the allegations, claiming the golfers concerned had opted for a rest before a run of more lucrative tournaments.

Email This Page