Golfer Rory McIlroy has said the sport must make improvements to its drug testing programme.
The 27-year-old from Northern Ireland said that he believed the current arrangements were not robust enough and he would be able to get away with taking a human growth hormone called HGH if he wanted to.
He told a press conference: “I’ve been tested once this year but it was only a urine test. You can’t really pick up HGH in a urine test, so I could use HGH and get away with it.”
McIlroy, who is currently ranked number four in the world, said: “If golf is in the Olympics it needs to improve the drug testing. On average, we get tested four or five times a year. It’s very little compared to other Olympic sports.”
He added: “Drug testing in golf is some way behind the other sports – but I don’t think there are drugs that can make you better across the board. There are drugs that can make you stronger and make you concentrate more, but not that can make you a better all-round golfer, as far as I am aware.”
Olympians will be screened before Rio
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) carried out 507 drugs tests on golfers in 2014, according to its figures. And eight of the sportsmen tested positive for banned substances.
British golfers heading to the Rio Olympics this summer as part of TeamGB will be drugs tested in a programme led by UK Anti-Doping. McIlroy will not be competing in the Olympics himself as he is concerned about the Zika virus, which is present in South America.
Drug testing often hits the headlines when it comes to competitive sports. But tests are also carried out by a number of organisations and businesses for a variety of reasons.
Workplace drug testing can be used by employers to discourage staff from taking illegal substances. Carrying out regular random drugs tests can act as a deterrent to employees who don’t want to face disciplinary action by getting a positive result.
Tests can also be used to monitor workers who are known to have had issues with addiction and as part of an investigation into an incident or accident in the workplace.