Thursday, April 3, 2008

LPGA Fires Drug Testing Company, Hires New One

Remember at the beginning of the season when everyone was really angry about the experience of drug testing at the Fields Open - only to find out that it didn't even count in the first place? Basically, the LPGA looked very unprepared for drug testing, but tried to reassure the media and the players that they were working out the kinks. They worked out the kinks, alright - they fired the testing company that messed it up in the first place.

The LPGA announced Wednesday that the National Center for Drug Free Sport would administer tests through the end of 2009. Drug Free Sport helped the LPGA develop its program, but another company, Comprehensive Drug Testing, won a bidding process in October to be the tour’s testing agency. Comprehensive Drug Testing ran into problems while collecting samples at the Fields Open and was dismissed by the tour.

“The recent change to Drug Free Sport was made in the best interests of the LPGA, our members and the future of the LPGA’s drug-testing program,” said Jill Pilgrim, LPGA general counsel and drug-testing program administrator.

Some players had to wait nearly three hours to be tested at the Fields because only one collector was on hand at the start of testing. The LPGA announced after the tournament that it was a trial run, leading some players to speculate that something else had gone awry in the process.
Good on the LPGA Tour to try to get this right. They recognize that since they were out in front on implementing this in the first place that they have to get it right BEFORE the PGA Tour does theirs beginning in July. That will be a total mess no matter what. But, in a way, if the LPGA Tour can have it done right well before then, they look better for it - compared to the PGA Tour at least.

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