Golf Digest reached Hank Haney today for comment. His response was lame as hell. He said he was there for “three or four” of Galea’s visits. (“Four of the five” has now morphed into “three or four.”) Then he said this, of Woods possibly using PEDs:
Even if he did, I’m not sure how it would help him.
I had to laugh when I read that. First off, the PGA Tour thinks it helps; Haney should read the Tour’s Anti-Doping Manual. Second, just a day or two ago, I linked to an ABC story about how testosterone helps combat performance anxiety; as well, one of my readers last year wrote a special commentary which covered the mental benefits of PEDs. Third, Haney’s “Even If He Did” comment could have come straight out of a piece I wrote last November (Steroids and PEDs and the PGA: How about we try claiming they are no big deal?) in response to an article by Adam Fonseca. (Fonseca replied in the comments section, which I thought was pretty cool.) Here’s how I summed up the “Even If He Did” spin:
This entire “Who would care if pro golfers used PEDs?” meme — and this is far from the first time I’ve encountered it — smells a lot like a prelude to an acknowledgement that Tiger Woods has been doping. Here’s the strategy: Frame the news not as a simple and obvious matter of cheating, but morph it into a debate about whether or not PEDs are really even cheating. That way the talking heads and writers could continue to cover Tiger Woods as a dim-witted reality show and prattle on about “chasing Jack” as if it still mattered.
I can’t add to that other than to say Haney’s comment today was a classic example.
Golf Digest also contacted the PGA Tour, who refused to comment. Gee, Tim Finchem doesn’t want to talk about Tiger Woods and doping? I bet Vijay Singh is shocked.
As well, Golf Digest reached out to Woods’s camp, who “did not immediately respond.” I bet the Windermere police are shocked.
Nevertheless, kudos to Golf Digest for making the effort. Other than printing Haney’s “Even If He Did” spin, they did a good job. (Well, kind of. I mean, how can you not ask Haney if he was aware or unaware of the other nine visits Galea paid to Woods’s mansion?)