Posted February 19, 2014

Judge Says Vijay Singh Can Move Forward With His Lawsuit Against the PGA Tour

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Vijay Singh

Credit: Getty Images

Vijay Singh’s drug-testing case against the PGA Tour is headed to trial.

The New York State Supreme Court denied the PGA Tour’s motion to dismiss Singh’s lawsuit in which he alleges that he was treated differently than other golfers under the Tour’s Anti-Doping Program after he admitted to using deer antler spray in a February 2013 article on SI.com.

“According [the Plaintiff's allegations] the benefit of every possible favorable inference, the Court finds that [Singh] has sufficiently pled a cause of action for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” wrote Justice Eileen Bransten in her Feb. 13 decision.

Singh’s lawyer Peter Ginsberg called the ruling a “great victory.” Although the court dismissed five of Singh’s seven claims (including negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and intentional infliction of emotional distress), the ruling left intact the core of Singh’s case: the allegations of disparate treatment.

“One of the goals of the lawsuit is to make the PGA Tour more responsive to its members and to assure that PGA Tour starts to treat all golfers fairly,” said Ginsberg of Singh’s discovery requests for documents concerning the inner-workings of the Tour’s Anti-Doping Program. “This lawsuit will preclude the PGA Tour from hiding under the cloak that has thus far protected it from appropriate scrutiny.”

Following the revelations in the Sports Illustrated article, the PGA Tour suspended Singh, only to lift its suspension two months later after the World Anti-Doping Agency determined that deer antler spray didn’t contain enough IGF-1 to trigger a positive test and should be removed from its list of banned substances. Singh claims that his suspension was “inconsistent” with the way other Tour pros had been treated.

According to Sports Illustrated legal analyst Michael McCann, Singh’s advancing case will hinge on whether Singh can prove that he was treated differently from other golfers who fell under the jurisdiction of the Tour’s Anti-Doping Program.

“When pretrial discovery begins, Vijay Singh will be in a position to compel the PGA Tour to reveal things it probably doesn’t want to reveal,” said McCann. “He’s going to want to know how the PGA Tour determines punishments for PED violations. Were there other golfers, or was I cherry-picked?”

A representative for the PGA Tour declined to comment, citing its policy against commenting on pending litigation.

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35 comments
golferx
golferx

have yet to see ANY evidence of damage to Singh's rep. he wasn't the most likable guy on the tour Before the incident.

Hotbite
Hotbite

I'm not a Vijay fan at all but I love what he is doing. The PGA is going to have to turn over its files and hopefully we'll see who has tested positive and what the tour did (or did not do) in response. I cannot wait to see how this plays out.

Nospin
Nospin

I'm good with it, the PGA needs to be held accountable just like any other business..oh excuse me, non-profit (wink, wink) organization.

GregoryBrose
GregoryBrose

He is a bit of a rat. He got busted and does not want to go down alone, so he points at other cheaters. That my friends, is a snitch.

TarugoKing
TarugoKing

They should test TIGER for VIAGRA. 

smarc78
smarc78

VJ has thicker skin than any of us... good on him and hope this case will bring down some real cheaters... as he was treated differently to other players...

Joe Davis
Joe Davis

He has been a cheater forever , just ask the people In Asia who kicked him out . Nothing he does matters , no class anyway. He should be praising the PGA tour and America for allowing him to get rich. To bad we all have to put up with him.

David Farmer
David Farmer

What does being a right winger have to do with this? Typical moron liberal having to open his uneducated mouth.

Greg Krueger
Greg Krueger

VJ admitted to using a banned substance! The tour dropped his suspension as soon as WADA removed the substance from the list. Not sure where the great issue lies. He cheated, got caught and instead of fessing up, blames everyone else. No class.

Tate Maddox
Tate Maddox

Piece of crap. Been a cheater his entire career. Now he's going to sue over it. Gotta love America

Thomas Bima
Thomas Bima

Looking forward to how this story plays out....

Brian Williams
Brian Williams

The only thing I could see being a PED in golf is a Beta Blocker. You just cant get nervous on those things.

Gregory Ellis
Gregory Ellis

PED's in Golf :O Next thing you know they'll say Tiger cheated on his EX-Wife ;) (y)

Fletcher Manning
Fletcher Manning

What does right wingers have to do with it? If they're hiding something, lets have it out says this right winger.

Chris Henderson
Chris Henderson

All people speaking negatively about Sing and Woods. This court case Vijah is bringing against the PGA tour will reveal some ugly details about the tour that some of you right wingers are going to find disturbing, if you have the morals and integrity you say you have. He has the PGA tour by the nuts because they falsely accused him of using a substance that should have never been on their ban list.

dtc81
dtc81

@McCannSportsLaw @si_golf does it matter if S.W.A.T.S. facility is up for auction and the guy got shutdown in Fultondale, AL? I bet not.

tommyrogo
tommyrogo

Will the tour settle this with Vijay?  I believe it's in their best interest to do so.  Fix the drug policy.  Take it out of Finchem's hand.  

David Glesner
David Glesner

he got ban on the Asian tour for cheating and he never been a honest guy.

Raul Ruiz
Raul Ruiz

He screws up and now wants things his way. Ban him!

Al Ex
Al Ex

nobody is worried about vj anymore. everybody is waiting for details on tiger's PED use.

MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

@GregoryBrose he didn't get busted, moron 


the substance was ruled LEGAL and he was unsuspended... and now he wants to see if he was picked on unfairly.... good for him

MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

sounds like you just dont like him.... your comment just drips of bias

macer
macer

Did V.J. "cheat" his way into the World Golf Hall of Fame?  "Cheat" his way to 34 PGA Tour wins?

"Cheat" his way to 13 Euro Tour wins?  It appears to me that V.J.'s career matters because it resulted in induction to the HOF!  Perhaps V.J. is, in fact, thankful for the opportunity to play on the PGA Tour, live at the TPC Sawgrass, and be renumerated in millions for his long hours of practice and devotion to golf. 

It appears to me that V.J. came to this country, worked hard, and is living the so-called American Dream. 

MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

you're a moron... Im not right wing.... and you're still a moron - politics have nothing to do with this case... and Im pro Singh

McCannSportsLaw
McCannSportsLaw

@dtc81 @si_golf May matter, depending on how PGA built case against Singh. Especially w/no golfers' union, hard to know sources of evidence.

Deed
Deed

@tommyrogo I don't think he wants to settle out of court,  at this point It is all about his day in court. So lets have at.

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