It was a random Tuesday when the media storm struck Vijay Singh.
“Ross, my phone’s blown up,” Singh told Ross Berlin, the PGA Tour’s director of player relations, on Jan. 29, 2013, as the Fijian prepared to play that week’s Waste Management Open.
“Vijay, it’s because an article that came out in Sports Illustrated, and you were interviewed and you admitted using deer antler spray,” Berlin explained.
The article, which was posted on SI.com just hours earlier, told the tale of S.W.A.T.S., a two-man company that billed itself as an alternative to steroids and sold an assortment of products from “negatively charged” water to something called Ultimate Spray, the substance Singh admitted to using “every day.”
According to the SI.com story and the S.W.A.T.S. website, the spray contained IGF-1, a growth hormone like HGH, which is banned by the Tour.
The ensuing media maelstrom and investigation has led to 2 1/2 years of contentious and often confidential litigation between the Tour and Singh, who filed a lawsuit against the Tour in New York County Supreme Court in May 2013.
That lawsuit reached a milestone last week with a flurry of filings, including a request from both Singh and the Tour to the court for summary judgment. Last week also marked the end of an intense discovery process, with over 130 filings posted to the public record last Thursday (Nov. 5) that at least partially pull back the veil on this bizarre episode.