Entrusted with secrets, Player warns of steroid use

Posted: July 19, 2007

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland - Does Gary Player know something Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson do not?

A day after both Woods and Mickelson scoffed at the prospect of golfers taking steroids, Player said flat-out he knows at least one player who does.

"One guy told me, and I took an oath prior to him telling me," said Player, 71, refusing to identify the player yesterday.

"He told me and I won't tell you where, but he told me what he did and I could see massive change in him," said Player. "And somebody else told me something that I also promised I wouldn't tell that verified others had done it."

Player speculated that as many as 10 players from all the tours are on something.

Golf has been slow to jump on the drug-testing bandwagon, be it for steroids or recreational use.

A day ago, Mickelson said he doubted there was even a "remote chance" any golfer was taking steroids.

Woods jokingly said the only thing golfers might test positive for was being "hung over."

With yesterday's rain chasing most golfers from the course early, reaction to Player's comments was hard to come by. That should change today now that Player has cast such a shadow of suspicion.

Small talk

In light of how the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie turned out, ever wonder if winner Paul Lawrie and meltdown artist Jean Van de Velde have talked about it over a pint?

No, they haven't.

"That conversation has never taken place, and I wouldn't imagine it ever would," Lawrie said this week. "Had it been myself and Al Forsyth and that might be the case, we might sit and chat about it. But Jean and I aren't in that circle very often. We're not real sort of go-out-for-dinner friends."

Ole out

Because of a knee injury, Jose Maria Olazabal has withdrawn, replaced in the field by American Tom Pernice, the next alternate on the list.

         - Joe Logan

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