Vijay Singh withdraws from Phoenix Open

Vijay Singh withdraws from Phoenix Open
January 31, 2013, 10:37 am

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Vijay Singh withdrew from the Phoenix Open on Thursday, a day after saying he used deer-antler spray and was ``absolutely shocked'' that it may contain a banned substance.

Singh cited a back injury in pulling out before the first round.

The 49-year-old Fijian first revealed he used the spray in an interview with Sports Illustrated. The magazine said Singh paid one of the owners of Sports With Alternatives To Steroids $9,000 last November for the spray, hologram chips and other products.

The magazine also reported Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis sought help from SWATS in his recovery from a torn right triceps. The company says its deer-antler substance contains a banned performance-enhancer connected to human growth hormone.

Singh said in a statement Wednesday that while he used deer-antler spray he was not aware he may have been violating the PGA Tour's anti-doping policy.

``In fact, when I first received the product, I reviewed the list of ingredients and did not see any prohibited substances,'' he said. ``I am absolutely shocked that deer-antler spray may contain a banned substance and am angry that I have put myself in this position. I have been in contact with the PGA Tour and am cooperating fully with their review of this matter. I will not be commenting further at this time.''

PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said the tour is ``looking into the matter.''

Singh won the last of his 34 PGA Tour titles in 2008. The three-time major champion also has 22 international victories. Early in his career, he was suspended from the Asian Tour for two years for altering his scorecard during a tournament in Indonesia.

Doug Barron is the only player to be suspended under the tour's anti-doping policy, missing part of 2009 and most of 2010. The one-year suspension was lifted in September 2010, and Barron was granted a therapeutic use exemption for low testosterone.