R&A disputes McIlroy on golf's anti-doping testing

Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:10pm EDT
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By Larry King

TROON, Scotland (Reuters) - Golf's rulemakers have dismissed Rory McIlroy's claim that the sport lags behind others at the Olympics when it comes to anti-doping but said their discussions about improving the situation were nothing to do with the public.

Doping is something the Royal & Ancient (R&A) takes seriously, because it strikes at the integrity of the sport, Martin Slumbers, the head of the organization, said on the eve of the British Open at Royal Troon.

"And our belief is that we should be, as a sport, at the highest level of standards around anti-doping," Slumbers told a news conference on Wednesday, a day after McIlroy made his remarks.

"And that's something that the tours and ourselves need to, are privately talking about behind closed doors. It's not a matter for public discussion."

Slumbers said the R&A follows the same policy as the European Tour during the week of the Open, and the Tour administers the testing during the championship.

McIlroy, the 2014 British Open champion, said on Tuesday he was tested "four to five times a year, which is very little compared to the rest of the Olympic sports... I think drug testing in golf is still quite far behind some of the other sports."

In his news conference on Tuesday, McIlroy also said he did not feel he was letting golf down by not playing in this year's Rio Olympics, which will include golf for the first time since 1904.

"I didn't get into golf to try and grow the game," he said. "I got into golf to win championships."   Continued...

Golf-British Open - Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy plays out of a bunker on the 18th hole during a practice round - Royal Troon, Scotland, Britain - 13/07/2016.  REUTERS/Craig Brough