PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Vijay Singh sued the PGA Tour on Wednesday for exposing him to "public humiliation and ridicule" during a 12-week investigation into his use of deer antler spray that ended last week when the tour dropped its case against him.
The lawsuit was a surprise, and so was the timing -- the day before The Players Championship, the flagship event on the PGA Tour held on its home course where Singh has honed his game for the last two decades.
"I am proud of my achievement, my work ethic and the way I live my life," Singh said in a statement. "The PGA Tour not only treated me unfairly, but displayed a lack of professionalism that should concern every professional golfer and fan of the game."
The 50-year-old Fijian, inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006, said in a Sports Illustrated article in January that he used deer antler spray and he was "looking forward to some change in my body." The spray was said to include an insulin-like growth factor that was on the tour’s list of banned substances. The tour sent a sample from Singh to be tested, and it returned small amounts of IGF-1.
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced April 30 that the tour was dropping its case because of new information from the World Anti-Doping Agency, which said deer antler spray was no longer considered prohibited because it contained just minimal amounts of the growth factor.
Some of the details and allegations:
-- Finchem had proposed suspended Singh for 90 days, and his earnings from Pebble Beach and Riviera would have been redistributed.
-- The tour held Singh’s earnings from five tournaments -- $99,980 -- in escrow without authority during the investigation and appeal.
-- Singh’s current caddie, Tony Shepherd, recommended that he try the deer antler spray to help with his back and knee injuries.
-- Scientists hired by Singh’s attorneys discovered that IGF-1 is found in cow’s milk. They also claim that the amount of IGF-1 in deer antler spray is so diluted that it would be comparable to pouring a shot glass of bourbon in an Olympic-size swimming pool, and then drinking a shot from the pool water.