Last week at The Players Championship, Vijay Singh announced that he had filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour for damaging his reputation with how the Tour handled the banned substance issue when Singh admitted to using Deer Antler Spray.
Essentially Singh is suing for undisclosed damages because, as he claims, he was subjected to public humiliation and ridicule over the issue. Singh is also claiming that his suspension was invalid based on the tests of Deer Antler Spray conducted at a UCLA lab.
The details of the suspension were also listed in the suit:
Singh earned just under $100,000 in the four tournaments he played while his suspension was appealed.
Here is my opinion:
This is laughable, mostly. After speaking with a friend who is an attorney I was told that public figures who file defamation suits like this have a higher burden of proof regarding the damage to their character. Singh’s public image is not in great standing as it is. He doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on, other than the money and Fed Ex Cup points he earned over the suspension period I am not sure exactly what he can get out of this.
But this suit will NEVER go to trial. Tim Finchem himself is a lawyer and it would look terrible for the Tour (and Vijay for that matter) to get into a knock-down-drag-out trial. If Singh were to settle with the tour, again I am not sure exactly what he could get beyond the money and points.
I said it’s mostly laughable. Only mostly and not completely laughable because Vijay’s suit does point out the problems with the Tour’s Banned Substance policy. By simply using the list from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) the Tour is not taking responsibility for its policy and opening itself up for more potential lawsuits.
The biggest outcome of this lawsuit will be the Tour changing their policy to prevent this from ever happening again.