A former PGA Tour player claims Tiger Woods has been suspended for one month under the Tour's anti-doping program.
Dan Olsen, who has made 35 career PGA Tour starts and was an exempt player for the 2004 season, made the claim Friday on radio station WVFN to host David DeMarco.
"I've heard that he's on a month(-long) suspension," Olsen said, claiming the information came from "exempt Tour players." Olsen said Woods did not test positive for testosterone but for "something else."
Olsen continued, "I think when it's all said and done, he's going to surpass Lance Armstrong in infamy."
Woods' agent Mark Steinberg released a statement to Golf News Net, saying, "These claims are absolutely, unequivocally and completely false. They are unsourced, unverified and completely ridiculous. The PGA Tour has confirmed that there is no truth to these claims."
PGA Tour media official Joel Schuchmann released a statement on behalf of the Tour, saying, "Regarding the allegations made by Dan Olsen concerning Tiger Woods, there is no truth whatsoever to his claims and the PGA Tour categorically denies them."
The PGA Tour typically refuses to comment on disciplinary matters.
Previous players who have been suspended under the Tour's anti-doping program for a positive drug test have been banned from the PGA Tour and its umbrella tours for one year.
Vijay Singh, who admitted to using deer-antler spray in 2013 in a Sports Illustrated piece, was going to be suspended six months by the Tour for a verbal confirmation of using a product containing a then-banned substance. After consulting with the World Anti-Doping Agency, which had declared that the illegal insulin-like ingredient found in deer-antler spray needed to be injected directly into the blood stream to be effective, the Tour decided not to suspend Singh. Singh is now involved in ongoing litigation against the PGA Tour over their handling of his case.
Woods announced Feb. 11 that he would not play on the PGA Tour again until his game was "tournament ready." He shot a career-worst 82 in the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, then withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open after just 11 holes. Olsen added he believes Woods was faking the back tightness that Woods cited in pulling out of the event.
Olsen, whose last PGA Tour start was the 2011 PGA Championship, also made several wild accusations concerning Woods' golf ball, incorrectly identifying dates during which Woods made changes in the ball he uses.
"So he's really playing with -- I'm not gonna say a cheater ball, because he has the help of the establishment, really -- but he played a ball that nobody else could play," Olsen said.
"So that combined with his enhancement issues, like having a Canadian blood spinning doctor in his phone, you know? I mean, I think people are starting to openly call it what it is, which is gonna be a problem for him."
Olsen alluded to comments made by Golf Channel analyst Frank Nobilo concerning the advantage he felt Woods had in 2000 (not 1998 or 1999 as Olsen claimed) in switching to Nike's first solid-core golf ball. After switch in May 2000, Woods went on to win the final three majors that year, just before Titleist introduced its Pro V1.
Further, Olsen claimed Rory McIlroy wanted out of his Nike contract if he couldn't have access to the same ball as Woods.
Switching subjects, Olsen also claimed PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem personally visited Dustin Johnson's home twice in an effort to help the pro with his "personal challenges" before a six-month leave of absence from golf that ended in February. Johnson has disputed a Golf.com report saying he was suspended for that half-year period because of a failed drug test under the Tour's anti-doping program.
On Monday, Olsen backed off his claims.
"Everything I said on that radio interview was only my opinion and not based on any firsthand knowledge or facts," Olsen said to ESPN.com. "I want to make a full retraction to everything I said for the entire radio interview, and I apologize to Tiger, Nike, Phil [Mickelson], [commissioner] Tim Finchem and the PGA Tour."
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