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Tiger and Hank and WADA

Kathy BissellCorrespondent IMay 21, 2010

CHASKA, MN - AUGUST 12:  (L-R) Swing coach Hank Haney and Tiger Woods look on during the third preview day of the 91st PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club on August 12, 2009 in Chaska, Minnesota.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

It was hard to get up from the Tour of California where the Bissell Team is among those biking and crashing their way through the Golden State.

But there are drugs in the news there, just as in golf, where criminal charges have been filed in federal court against Dr. Anthony Galea, who became famous for treating injured athletes, but sometimes with not the right stuff. 

One of my sports-writing pals said months ago that Dr. Galea was the other shoe, the one not named Nike. Galea was the really dangerous one for Tiger Woods.

Galea is charged with—among other things, smuggling, unlawful distribution of HGH, and introducing an unapproved drug (Actovegin) into interstate commerce.

According to Hank Haney in an interview on The Golf Channel, he watched one treatment that Galea gave Woods. During that session there was, according to Haney, nothing that went into Tiger’s body that didn’t come out of it. 

Tiger Woods has denied ever using performance enhancing drugs. Haney backed that, based on what he saw.

As the old phrase goes, if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, then it must be a duck on drugs. Guilt by association.  And you worry about slight of hand. Open up the ring and drop the poison dust into the drink. (Obviously, I read too many fairy tales as a child.)

Whether you are a fan of Tiger Woods or not, you have to hope that what Haney said and what Tiger Woods insists is true.

Nobody needs a Floyd Landis in golf.

For Haney, all of this may have become a mountain too high of negative Woods-related publicity. The WD of Woods from The Players, subsequent revelation about the disk injury, remarks in the media about Haney being absent during tournaments, and then the impending legal battles of Dr. Galea.

Meanwhile, there were positive announcements about Hank Haney.

According to his web site “in 2009, 94 percent of students at Hank Haney IJGA received a college golf scholarship,” for instance.

Haney’s International Junior Golf Academy and International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) just renewed their partnership with BMW of North America Southern Region this week.

BMW is the “Official Vehicle of Hank Haney IJGA” and presenting sponsor of the IJGT's 2010 Tournament of Champions, held Memorial Day weekend in Orlando.

You have to wonder—with Haney’s projects on the upswing and Woods being radioactive—was that a factor in Haney’s decision to let Woods find another guru?

Coincidence?

In the times I have had dealings with Hank Haney, he has been a straight shooter.  If Haney says he saw nothing funny with the doctor, I believe him.

Getting no love from Woods had to be a little annoying for a guy who was mum on anything he and Woods worked on, who was on call for six years, and who helped Woods turn what were average performances for him into victory seasons.

Haney helped Woods make progress after the lackluster years of 2003 and 2004. As Woods himself said in a press conference sometime after the season of 2005 when he had a victory at the Masters, a second in the US Open, and a victory at the British Open, the reason he went to Haney was justified by “One, two, one.”

And now that partnership is no more.

They say that no man is an island, but at this point, Woods seems to be about as close to that as anyone can get.

Well, an island with a Nike banner anyway.

 

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