Judge limits Singh's discovery in case against Tour
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Vijay Singh's attempt to look behind the curtain of the PGA Tour's drug policy will be limited, according to a recent court ruling.
In Singh's lawsuit against the Tour, Judge Eileen Bransten of New York's Supreme Court granted part of a motion to compel documents and answers from the Tour but denied other parts of the motion, notably regarding specific questions about the Anti-Doping Program.
The 10-page ruling, dated June 12, limits the scope of the discovery only to documents of prior violations that were linked to the use of deer-antler spray or products that contained insulin-like growth factor 1, known as IGF-1.
“We believe the ruling is a partial victory for Mr. Singh,” Jeffery Rosenblum, Singh's co-counsel, said Saturday.
Singh had asked for much broader discovery that included documents of all violations of the Tour’s 6-year-old Anti-Doping Program, including recreational drug use, documents regarding the establishment of the program, involvement of PGA Tour players in the drafting of the program, and documents regarding colostrum, a substance that is not on the banned-substance list.
Singh also asked for specific plaintiff's questions, known as interrogatories, to be answered regarding the issued raised above.
However, Bransten's ruling will limit the discovery.
“The scope of the demands and any responses thereto shall be limited to each named individual’s possible or actual violation of the Program for the alleged use, attempted use, or use of IGF-1 or any product that allegedly contains IGF-1," she wrote.
With these limits, Singh could have a difficult time establishing a breach of implied covenant of good faith or conversion, which are the remaining two causes of action from the original seven allegations of wrongdoing that he brought in the original complaint.
The PGA Tour has a strict policy of not commenting on on-going legal matters.
Now discovery will commence in accordance to a previous ruling by Bransten earlier this year. She ordered that all discovery, including depositions, must conclude by June 30, 2015, and all dispositive motions, the last step before a trial date is set, must occur by Sept. 30, 2015.
Singh filed suit against the Tour on May 8, 2013, the day before the Tour's flagship Players Championship, alleging "public humiliation and ridicule" during the Tour's three-month investigation over his use of deer-antler spray, which contained IGF-1, which at the time was a banned substance under the Tour's Anti-Doping Program. On April 29, 2013, Singh was cleared of any anti-doping claims after the World Anti-Doping Agency determined that use of the substance no longer violates the drug program.
Singh, 51, has won 34 times on the PGA Tour, including three major championships, and is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. He has made 11 cuts in 18 starts this season, with one top-10 finish, a runner-up in the Frys.com Open in October.