The PGA Tour says it is not obstructing Vijay Singh’s request for documents related to its Anti-Doping Program.
In an April 14 letter to New York state Supreme Court judge Eileen Bransten, PGA Tour lawyer Jeffrey Mishkin explained how the Tour is complying with Singh’s document requests as part of the discovery phase of the Fijian’s lawsuit against the Tour.
“Contrary to his contention, the Tour has not refused to produce documents pending the resolution of Mr. Singh’s motion to compel,” Mishkin wrote. “Rather, consistent with the Tour’s prior communications with Mr. Singh, the Tour has represented to Mr. Singh’s counsel that it will continue to produce documents on a rolling basis. In this regard, the Tour has produced more than a thousand pages of documents responsive to plaintiffs requests, and anticipates producing additional documents to Mr. Singh and responses to Mr. Singh’s two outstanding interrogatories, within the next seven to ten days.”
While the Tour claims it will have substantially completed Singh’s requests in the next week to 10 days, the Tour continues to object to e-discovery — that is, the turning over of electronic records requested — until the full scope of the discovery phase is outlined by the court.
Singh sued the PGA Tour in May 2013, claiming he was treated unjustly under the Tour’s Anti-Doping Program following his admission of using a then-banned substance known as deer-antler spray in a Sports Illustrated piece in January 2013. According to program rules, Singh’s admission was tantamount to a positive test, subjecting him to punitive action. The Tour was set to suspend Singh before consulting with the World Anti-Doping Agency, which informed the Tour it no longer considered oral ingestion of deer-antler spray as illegal because the active banned ingredient, IGF-1, cannot be absorbed by the body unless injected directed into the blood stream.
In the near year that has passed since the suit was filed, the court has said several of Singh’s claims create a motion to compel, leading to a discovery phase before a trial. Singh and his lawyers have asked the PGA Tour for documents relating to the Anti-Doping Program, including testing records as it relates to several players.