Today the PGA Tour finally broke their silence regarding the case against Doug Barron and his alleged violation of the Tour's anti-doping laws, and I have to admit... I am now leaning more towards Barron for this one. Apparently, Barron suffers from mitral valve prolapse, a condition that can be treated via the use of specific therapeutic drugs.
The PGA Tour’s silence regarding the ongoing challenge to its first
anti-doping violation ended on Tuesday when Rich Young publicly addressed
Monday’s ruling by a U.S. magistrate regarding Doug Barron.
Young, a Colorado-based lawyer who argued on behalf of the Tour the
first challenge to the circuit’s anti-doping policy on Friday in Memphis, said
U.S. magistrate Tu Pham’s rejection of Barron’s request for a restraining order
to play Q-School was “encouraging,” and called the one-year suspension
“If a player wants a (therapeutic use exemption for a banned substance)
he’s given every chance to submit his medical records to a committee and ask for
one,” Young said. “The question is if he didn’t get a TUE would he suffer and,
in Doug’s case, the recommendation from the committee was no, he would not and
that didn’t justify a TUE request.”
Unfortunately for this argument, Barron DID file for a TUE twice (once in 2008 and again in 2009), both of which were denied, and was told to no longer take the drugs in question. Furthermore, let's take a moment to educate ourselves on what a patient with mitral valve prolapse could go through:
According to the Mayo Clinic, mitral valave prolapse is a condition in which "the valve between your heart's left upper chamber (left atrium) and the left lower chamber (left ventricle) doesn't close properly. When the left ventricle contracts, the valve's flaps bulge (prolapse) upward or back into the atrium. Mitral (MIE-truhl) valve prolapse sometimes leads to blood leaking backward into the left atrium, a condition called mitral valve regurgitation" (MayoClinic.com
To be fair, people with the same condition as Barron can typically lead long, happy lives without the need for drug treatement. However, have we gotten to the point in professinal sports when we can dictate what an individual can or cannot take for his or her own well-being because the treatment in question is "banned'?