Ames slams drug tests

ERIC FRANCIS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

As far as Stephen Ames is concerned, the only cups he should ever be aiming at are the ones housing flags.

However, in just over a month's time, the 44-year-old Calgary golfer will likely be asked to fill one with urine as part of the PGA Tour's controversial new drug testing policy.

And while many on tour have railed against the impending humiliation of punctuating a round by having to drop their drawers and lift their shirts so drug testers can watch them whiz, Ames' concerns revolve more around potential bias in the system.

"We all know for a fact that if a certain player happened to be tested and found positive that he would be treated differently than another player -- we're not saying any names here," Ames told the Sun yesterday, making an obvious allusion to Tiger Woods.

"He's the life of the tour, and if it happened to be him, we all know it's going to be treated differently. That's the unfortunate thing about this drug testing. It's very biased.

"It's a very hot issue right now."

To be clear, Ames is not suggesting for one second Woods, or anyone in his sport, is 'roided up. Nor is he attacking the world's top golfer in any way, as has been the conclusion -- right or wrong -- drawn from some of his comments in years' past.

Fact is, Ames feels strongly commissioner Tim Finchem is unnecessarily opening up a can of worms the PGA Tour could easily do without.

"It hasn't been proven taking steroids or anything enhances your ability to hit the ball further or make that three-foot putt," scoffed Ames, never one to hide his true feelings.

"The game has been built on integrity and honesty for hundreds of years. All of a sudden now, because every other sport has (seen athletes) take advantage of trying to become a better player, drug testing is an enhancement to the game? I don't think so. It's a contentious issue because they're talking about stuff that I don't know anybody who takes."

Woods, by far the most buff player on tour, has long been a proponent of drug testing to eliminate any suspicion there are 'dirty' juicers in the game of gentlemen.

The introduction of a testing process was hastened last summer when 72-year-old Gary Player besmirched the sport by saying he knows of current tour players taking steroids, yet provided no proof or names.

"I don't know how he gets that information -- he's not even on tour," said Ames, rolling his eyes at the allegation.

As Ames added, none of this is to say some drug tests won't come up positive after the random screens start being administered July 1.

"Funny enough, there are probably going to be more guys testing positive for smoking weed than there are for taking steroids," said Ames, whose tour already has rules against the use of illegal drugs, but no tests to catch culprits.

"That's a big issue there. They're probably going to find some things from some guys but they're probably going to be from the Booster Juice or something they took an hour ago from the mall. There are also some issues with guys who are trying to have kids who have low testosterone and need to take a steroid to boost their system -- I know three guys like that, and they can't get boosted because they're going to get drug tested.

"There are certain issues like that that are arising right now, and the tour hasn't quite established those yet. There's a sit-down with Tim to find out how he's going to go about dealing with that."

To date, most players haven't dealt well with it as Frank Lickliter's response to the Associated Press suggested, saying that any drug tester who showed up at his house was "going to have a hard time getting off my property without a bullet in his (behind)."

Ames was far more diplomatic than that but just can't help wonder if drug testing will see the tour shoot itself in the foot.


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