Pro golfer Vijay Singh has admitted to using "deer antler spray," a substance meant to enhance athletic performance that is advertised as containing a hormone called "IGF one."
The performing enhancing substance, which is banned by both the PGA tour and the World Anti-Doping Agency, has been linked to the Ravens player Ray Lewis and the Alex Rodriguez scandal in reports this week.
In a statement, Singh admits to using the spray, but says that "at no time was [he] aware that it may contain a substance that is banned under the PGA tour anti-doping policy."
CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen explains what the substance is and how it's used by athletes on Starting Point this morning.
On Tuesday the Miami New Times released a report alleging that Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez purchased human growth hormone and other banned substances from an "anti-aging" clinic in Miami called "Biogenesis," which is now closed. The Times also names several other big league players in the report as well as a man named Anthony Bosch who ran the clinic and reportedly kept sloppy records. CNN has not been able to reach Bosch for comment and the DEA would not comment on whether Bosch or Biogenesis are being investigated.
This morning fmr. Senator George Mitchell, who authored the famous "Mitchell Report" on doping in baseball in 2007 joins “Starting Point.”
Mitchell says the unauthenticated and “dramatic” report raises questions about why someone would keep a journal with the baseball players real names because “it not only implicates the players… it implicates him.” He says the records also name players who have “previously been implicated and after some periods of denial have been admitted they used them.”
Mitchell says sports industries are facing a constant battle and trying to play catch-up with a “large illicit industry [of] people engaged in making these drugs for profit.” He adds that Major League Baseball in particular faces a lot of problems with doping because they’re a private organization and “they don’t have the power of government to compel testimony. So if a person won’t speak to them or won’t give them records voluntarily it takes a lot of sort of hard work to get to building a case and sometimes impossible.”
Erik Wemple with the Washington Post on reactions to Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey.
On Thursday during the first of his two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey, Lance Armstrong acknowledged calling the wife of former US Postal Service cycling teammate, Frankie Andreu, crazy. Betsy Andreu was furious on CNN’s AC360 and very emotional after the now-disgraced cyclist ducked Oprah's questions about her.
In 1996, when Armstrong was recovering from surgery to remove tumors from his brain at an Indiana hospital, Frankie Andreu and his wife Betsy went to visit him. The Andreus would later testify that they heard Armstrong list off all the performance enhancing drugs he had taken to two doctors. Armstrong vehemently denied that under oath and repeatedly attacked the Andreus.
This morning, Andreu joins “Starting Point” to discuss the first 90-minute installment which aired on Winfrey's OWN cable network.
In the first installment of his interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Thursday night, now-disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong described himself as "deeply flawed," and "a bully.” Armstrong who was recently asked to return his bronze medal from the Olympics was also stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency accused Armstrong last October of being involved in a sophisticated doping program.
During the interview, Armstrong discussed using an array of substances like testosterone and human growth hormone, as well as EPO - a hormone naturally produced by human kidneys to stimulate red blood cell production in addition to blood transfusions. This morning two-time U.S. professional cycling champion and cycling Coach John Eustice weighs in on the first 90-minute interview and possibilities from the second installment set to be broadcast Friday night.
This morning on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," two-time Cycling Champion John Eustice weighs in on Lance Armstrong's doping admission. Eustice says Armstrong was part of a wider doping 'system' in sports.
"I think Lance is a lifetime athlete and he understands how the system works," Eustice says. "He understands where his position is, and he doesn't feel he should be the only one punished as representative of an entire system of stardom and money and money generation."
"I think there are at least ten other teams in the Tour De France that have exactly the same system as during his era," Eustice says.
Watch more from the interview in the video above.
Paul Willerton, fmr. teammate of Lance Armstrong's cycling team, weighs in on Armstrong's doping admission.
Starting Point airs weekdays from 7am to 9am ET on CNN. Check in often to join the daily conversation.