Open 2015: Olympic chief warns PGA Tour on doping regulations

By Tom EnglishBBC Scotland at St Andrews
Next year's Olympic golf will be played in the Barra da Tijuca neighbourhood of Rio
Next year's Olympic golf will be played in the Barra da Tijuca neighbourhood of Rio
144th Open Championship
Venue: St Andrews Dates: 16-19 July
Sunday's coverage: Live on Red Button, Connected TVs, online, tablets, mobiles and apps from 10:00 BST and live on BBC TV and Radio 5 live from 11:00

The US PGA Tour has been warned over its stance on doping before golf's return to the Olympics in 2016.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach is urging the tour to adhere to World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) rules.

The PGA Tour has a doping policy but it is not as strict as Wada standards.

"I can only encourage the PGA Tour to follow and finally accept the Wada code and to be compliant with this," said Bach at St Andrews during The Open.

Bach added that he wanted "a harmonised anti-doping regime there for all the golf players and... a level playing field for all golfers".

Asked if non-compliance might put golf's Olympic future in jeopardy, he replied: "Of course, we'd have to take this into consideration."

Neither the PGA Tour or European Tour publishes details of the number of drug tests it carries out during a year.

Governing body the R&A does not publish details of how many tests it conducts at The Open Championship.

Asked earlier this week for a specific figure, R&A chief executive Peter Dawson would only say that the number was significant.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach addressed the media at St Andrews

Golf is returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1904 at Rio next summer.

The sport's ruling bodies were criticised by two-time major winner Greg Norman for not taking the threat of doping seriously enough.

The International Golf Federation (IGF) will run the drug-testing programme for the Olympics, beginning 13 weeks before the Games. It will include blood testing (at the moment there are only urine tests in golf), out of competition testing and an introduction of the whereabouts rule.external-link

All Olympic golfers - male and female - will have to inform anti-doping officials where they are going to be for one hour each day between 5am and 11pm so they can be tested.

Bach added: "The athletes will have to accept the Olympic standards during the next year prior to the Games and, of course, during the Games the first five will be tested on top of the random-testing and the targeted-testing during the Olympic period."

David Howman, Wada's director general, said on Wednesday: "No sport can be complacent on the doping issue."

He added that the Wada system was the "gold standard" and the best way to ensure that "clean athletes and the watching public can have full confidence in the anti-doping system".

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