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Singh lawsuit claims PGA Tour waited months to ask about IGF-1

In his career, Vijay Singh owns 34 PGA Tour victories, including three major championship titles. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In recent court filings surrounding Vijay Singh's ongoing lawsuit with the PGA Tour, the three-time major champion contends the tour was negligent in inquiring about a banned substance that he was subsequently suspended for taking, according to a published report.

GolfChannel.com, citing records from the court case that were recently made public, said that although the original story about Singh's use of a deer-antler spray that contained IGF-1 came out in January 2013, it wasn't until late April that year when the PGA Tour reached out to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to ask about clarification about the substance.

Singh, who appealed a 90-day suspension from the PGA Tour in the interim, was exonerated by the PGA Tour in late-April 2013 when the tour announced that WADA no longer considered IGF-1 a banned substance.

The PGA Tour, in the published report, said in court documents that although the level of IGF-1 in Singh's system might not have been detectable due to a lack of a reliable test, that information was irrelevant because the 52-year-old World Golf Hall of Famer admitted to taking the substance. Under the PGA Tour's anti-doping guidelines, admission of taking a banned substance is the equivalent to a positive test.

The discovery phase of the case provided a glimpse under the hood regarding how the tour handles doping issues. According to GolfChannel.com, PGA Tour executive vice president of communications Ty Votaw had an email exchange with a golf writer from The Associated Press who asked if the deer-antler spray was banned by the tour. Votaw said yes, although that isn't the case, according to the report. IGF-1 was banned at the time Singh took it, but the spray itself is not.

Singh is reportedly asking for $5 million in damages while both sides are seeking summary judgment in the case if voluntary mediation doesn't provide a resolution.