The LPGA became the first professional golf tour to announce a drug policy, passing out details to the players Tuesday night at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club before releasing it to the media on Wednesday morning.
According to the release from the commissioner’s office, the new edict is in collaboration with the National Center for Drug Free Sport and will go in effect in 2008.
Among the banned substances are anabolic agents, substances with anabolic properties, stimulants, Beta blockers, agents with anti-estrogenic activity, diuretics/masking agents, and cannabinoids (marijuana).
Since the policy is not immediate, there was little reaction among the players outside of a few jokes. Even Annika Sorenstam, who helped formulate the new policy as a member of the LPGA’s executive committee, which oversees the drug committee, didn’t say much on the subject.
“I’m not very familiar with any of those substances, and I don’t really know what they are other than caffeine and cocaine, I think,’’ Sorenstam said. “So I have a lot of learning to do.
“But I think it’s an important step (and) statement that we’re making.’’
For the record, cocaine is banned, while caffeine is not. In total, more than 100 drugs were listed as banned substances.
Sorenstam said her No. 1 priority for 2007 is “to get my swing back.’’
“I was quite frustrated with the way I was playing last year. I tried so hard to make it work. I scrambled in a lot of events just to hit fairways and hit greens. It was tough.’’
So in between opening up her new golf academy, charity foundation and products line dubbed “Annika,’’ she worked hard to get her swing in sync.
“I want to play some good golf. That’s why I do this,’’ she said matter of factly. “I like to be consistent. I like to hit fairways.’’
The Safeway International boasts a major championship-type field, with 96 of the top 100 players from the 2006 money list. So who is missing?
Karen Stupples, who was No. 49 last season, is pregnant. Beth Daniel (No. 53) decided to work for The Golf Channel, and Miriam Nagl (No. 76) and Kris Tschetter (No. 99) are injured.
One other player of note who is missing from the field is Meg Mallon, who has a bone spur in her foot. Mallon was No. 117.
For some strange reason, the LPGA media guide has decided to drop players’ dates of birth (just the year) and residences (just the state and country). It’s not like there wasn’t room for such details, either, as the guide has plenty of white space in its 560 pages.
Asked why such key information was struck from the guide, an LPGA spokesperson said, “We consider that information confidential.’’
And to think, it only took 57 years to figure that out!