Club balks at testing golfers for drug use

ST ANDREWS - British Open organisers won't let golf's oldest major be the first professional tournament to agree to drug testing.

ST ANDREWS - British Open organisers won't let golf's oldest major be the first professional tournament to agree to drug testing.

The Royal and Ancient club of St Andrews - the rule-making body for golf outside the United States - wants the sport to regularly undergo drug controls before the 146-year-old Open carries out tests.

"The elite players play week in, week out on the tours around the world and the thing about drug testing is that it's a 52-week operation each year - not a thing you do now and again," R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said in yesterday's edition of The Scotsman.

"If it becomes the norm in elite play, then we would certainly do it. We can't be first because we can't conduct a policy for one week of the year."

The Open is at Carnoustie from July 19 to 22. The first men's tournament to undergo drug testing was last month's World Team championship for amateurs in Stellenbosch. The LPGA Tour won't start testing until 2008.

Under World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines, golf needs to agree to organised testing. - Sapa-AP

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