- Bob Harig, Senior Golf Writer
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Vijay Singh, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, is among athletes linked to a banned substance, according to a Sports Illustrated report.
Singh, who turns 50 next month and has won 34 times on the PGA Tour, including three major championships, told the magazine that he has used the substance deer-antler spray, which contains IGF-1. SI described it as a "natural, anabolic hormone that stimulates muscle growth.''
A version of the story is posted on SI.com.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is also mentioned in the report as using the product to help heal his torn triceps. Lewis dismissed the report when asked about it at Super Bowl media day in New Orleans on Tuesday.
Deer-antler spray is banned by the major pro sports leagues, including the PGA Tour, which instituted a drug-testing program in 2008 and warned players about its use in 2011 after Mark Calcavecchia was told to stop promoting the product.
Ty Votaw, PGA Tour vice president, would only say about the report regarding Singh: "We're looking into it.''
The company providing the product is called SWATS -- Sports With Alternatives to Steroids.
According to SI, Singh in November paid the company $9,000 for the spray, chips, beam ray and power additive. He uses the spray "every couple of hours ... every day,'' he said.
He said he sleeps with the beam ray on and has put chips on his ankles, waist and shoulders.
"I'm looking forward to some change in my body,'' Singh told the magazine. "It's really hard to feel the difference if you're only doing it for a couple of months.''
Singh, long known for his intense practice regimen and work ethic, has dealt with numerous injuries over the past few years and has not won since 2008. He is subject to the tour's random drug-testing program. Results are not announced unless a player tests positive -- although just one player has been suspended since the program was put in place.
Singh is scheduled to play in this week's Waste Management Phoenix Open.
11hZach Jones, ESPN Stats & Information