Question: What do we do about cheating in schools?
Suggestion: Don't have the school lawyers handle this issue
Schools tackle the growing practice of cheating
By Marsha Sutton, SDNN
July 15, 2010
Cheating has gotten a lot more complex than simply peering over a classmate's shoulder.
Cheating in high school is as common an occurrence as adolescent acne – and has proven to be just
as difficult to control. Intense competition for slots in highly selective colleges has contributed to the
problem, expanding the practice to include high-achieving students when decades ago cheaters were
mainly D students trying simply not to fail.
“I only cheat off of smart kids because I want to go to UCLA,” stated a student several years ago in the
Torrey Pines High School yearbook.
In last year’s San Diego Jewish Academy yearbook, two pages were devoted to “The Art of Deception –
Inventive Ways to Cheat.” Although content was often tongue-in-cheek (“shave answers in leg hair,
learn Morse code, set up a smoke signal”), other comments rang true.
“I don’t usually cheat, but I was crammed for time. It was a last resort,” said one student who wrote
terminology on her arm hidden under a jacket.
“I often have multiple tests a week, and it was hard for me to remember all the information,” said a 10th-
grade Advanced Placement history student who inserted a cheat sheet inside a pencil case pocket for
High school students have progressed well beyond the tried and true methods of simply peeking at
another student’s work or giving the test questions to students who have yet to take the test.
“We’ve caught very clever kids,” said La Jolla High School principal Dana Shelburne. “One had taken
the label off a water bottle and put it through the printer with all the important stuff on there and then
reattached it to the water bottle, so it looked for all the world like a water bottle. But if you tilted it the right
way, you could look right in.”
Shelburne said technology has made it even more challenging for teachers to catch cheaters. “That
makes it very difficult to know what’s going on because kids can text without looking,” he said.
Shelburne said one student sitting in the front row had his eyes on his teacher but his hands in his
pockets while the teacher was lecturing on the importance of academic honesty. After class, he told her
he had been texting and showed her what he had written: “I am talking about cheating with [the
teacher].” Then he said, “See? I’m two feet in front of you and you didn’t even know.”
Local cheating scandal
A local cheating scandal last year in two Advanced Placement psychology classes that involved dozens
of students at Canyon Crest Academy presented a challenge for staff at the San Dieguito Union High
SDUHSD associate superintendent Rick Schmitt said two forms of cheating took place: those who
shared notes and homework assignments and those who cheated on tests. Students who copied
notes and plagiarized were easier to spot because the homework was identical from one to the next.
But the test cheaters proved harder to identify.
It was determined, eventually, that one boy who took the class in the fall term allegedly gave or sold
copies of the answers to students taking the same class in the spring term. The student, whose father
is a criminal defense attorney, was a junior at the time and switched schools voluntarily, reportedly
attending San Marcos High School for his senior year.
“We had enough evidence to suspend but not expel,” said Canyon Crest assistant principal Elloise
Allen, who speculated that the family transferred him from Canyon Crest because “they could see
possibilities of more evidence coming.”
Allen said she’s convinced more than one student was guilty of sharing prior tests but staff was unable
to uncover definitive proof implicating anyone else.
Galling many Canyon Crest students this spring was discovering that this student had been accepted
to the University of California Los Angeles for fall 2010.
“I’m not going to lie – I was upset,” said one CCA student. “I felt it was extremely unfair. Why should this
person get accepted to a really good school? It feels like there were no consequences to his actions.”
The student, who asked not to be named, said the offender was a “very smart kid” who likely would
have been accepted to UCLA anyway. “But I don’t think he deserves it for doing this,” the student said.
The student said it encourages cheating when hard-working, honest students see cheaters getting
ahead. He said many of his classmates were also angry when they heard the news.
Consequences for cheating at San Dieguito schools do not include an “academic dishonesty” notation
on the student’s transcript. “If it was noted on the transcript, it would save a lot of us the concern and
stress about this,” said the CCA student, who added that he wouldn’t feel as frustrated if UCLA had
been made aware of the offense and still accepted him.
Most colleges and universities do not ask on their application forms if students have ever cheated,
been suspended or expelled. Some students believe colleges should ask, although they acknowledge
that, without reference to any incidents on the student’s transcript, it’s easy to lie.
The Canyon Crest investigation determined that an estimated 50 percent of the students in one
teacher’s two AP Psych classes – or about 40 to 45 kids – were guilty of cheating. There were varying
degrees of academic dishonesty: sharing the test and providing the answer keys, receiving those
answers, sharing homework notes and collaborating on assignments that were meant to be
Alice Cash, a 2009 CCA graduate who was not involved in the scandal and does not engage in
cheating, said at the time that the discovery of such widespread cheating didn’t surprise her. “It goes
on in every class,” she said. “There’s lots of peer pressure to cheat.”
Some students believe the kids who received the test questions and answers did not deserve to be
“The students were not at fault,” commented one student in response to an article on the issue. “The
reason that the students were able to cheat on the tests was because the teacher never changed the
tests from year to year. This illustrates pure indolence on behalf of all the teachers of this generation
who ignorantly cannot be bothered to create new tests from time to time.”
Schmitt said first-time offenders receive a zero on the assignment, quiz or test. If it’s a repeat offense,
then the student may fail the course or be suspended for several days, with no chance to make up
missed work. But there is no notation on transcripts, and all misbehavior is part of a discipline file that
is kept confidential and “never sees the light of day,” he said.
San Dieguito’s policy “is typical of any cheating policy I’ve ever seen in the six different school districts I’
ve worked in,” Schmitt said. He said the zero on the assignment, especially if it’s a final exam, can be a
game-changer, sometimes lowering the final grade a full level, from an A to a B or a B to a C.
Consequences can be severe. Schmitt mentioned the case of a student years ago at Torrey Pines who
failed a course after being caught cheating and had his acceptance to UC Berkeley rescinded.
Because the student at CCA last year who was caught distributing tests took the class in a prior term,
there was no assignment, quiz or test to give him a zero for. He was suspended instead, Allen said,
because “we felt that discipline-wise it was important to have a consequence.”
Both Allen and Schmitt agreed that it can be difficult for honest students to see cheaters accepted into
Schmitt said he understands their frustration and sympathizes. “I’d say [to students] … if you’re
bothered by it, then you have to help us,” he said. “Many times there’s that teenage code of silence, and
it’s difficult to crack that culture.”
Most cheating occurs outside the classroom, Schmitt said, making it even more difficult to detect. “It
doesn’t happen under the teacher’s nose, so it’s really hard to police that,” he said.
Schmitt said the schools need hard evidence to charge kids with cheating, which isn’t easy to get. “The
burden of proof is pretty tough,” he said.
“Kids shut down … and [are] not willing to talk,” Allen said. “They are so willing to close ranks. They’re
willing to be upset that he got into a good university, and yet none of them were willing to come forward
and say, ‘I know more information, I have more details, I have specifics.’”
Allen said the reluctance to speak up stems from social pressures. “Part of it is just a cultural piece
that kids don’t tattle,” she said. “Kids are very much afraid of the social stigma. But we’re not a court of
law where we can subpoena somebody and put them on trial. I don’t have to share my witness
information with another kid.”
Schmitt said the discipline policy, which he calls progressive, is not meant to disqualify a student from
college eligibility or to prevent a student from graduating. “Good kids make bad choices, and this is just
another opportunity for us to help them mature and make better choices,” he said.
Jeff Davis, principal of the Upper School at Carmel Valley’s San Diego Jewish Academy, echoed
Schmitt’s remarks, saying, “The term I use is progressive discipline,” meaning that students are
treated differently if there is a history of offenses.
“I’m not a zero tolerance guy,” Davis said. “You take into consideration, has this kid ever done that
before and what was the nature of the offense.”
The cheating policy at the private Jewish Academy – and at Cathedral Catholic High School, another
private high school in Carmel Valley – is similar to San Dieguito’s: a zero on the assignment for a first
offense, with discretion to enforce suspension or other disciplinary action if it’s a multiple offense or
involves other charges like theft or computer hacking.
Cathedral’s policy reads: “Consequences for cheating, plagiarism or any other form of academic
dishonesty will include, but are not limited to, receiving a zero on the assignment, quiz or test, and a
detention or referral. Lying to the teacher or the dean’s office may result in further consequences.”
Schmitt said public schools must accept kids who were expelled from private schools, and often are
not told the reason for the expulsion.
“We can’t expel kids for cheating,” he said. “The private schools can, and we end up with a lot of those
Several years ago, students came to two San Dieguito high schools, Torrey Pines and La Costa
Canyon, after being forced to leave a private school for plagiarism and hacking into the school’s
computer system and changing grades, Schmitt said.
“They arrived at our campuses, and we had no idea any of that had happened,” he said. “They did it
again at our schools and got caught.”
Schmitt said private schools can dismiss students “at any time, pretty much for any reason.” He said
he’s received kids in the public school system “who broke all kinds of rules at the private school,
whether it was drug- and alcohol-related or issues around plagiarism. The kid just enrolls and the
private schools don’t have to disclose why.”
If the family lives in the neighborhood, they have a right to public school, he said.
“That’s a true statement,” said SDJA’s Davis. “You’re guaranteed the right to a public education. You’re
not guaranteed the right to a private school education.”
La Jolla High’s Shelburne agreed, saying, “Oftentimes we do not get the reasons why a student comes
out of a private school to us. For any number of reasons – dealing drugs, cheating, fighting, whatever –
that kid is removed from the private school and suddenly here he or she is on our doorstep.”
Davis said no student has ever been expelled for cheating from the private Jewish Academy, but
incidents do happen.
“We have the same things that occur here that occur at all other public and private schools,” said Davis,
who noted that the most common form of cheating at his school is plagiarism.
Davis said the school tries to address the issue in ways that ensure it never happens again. First-time
offenders are generally not suspended unless the cheating involves some crime like stealing or
vandalism. “Kids sometimes make mistakes, and we want them to learn from it,” he said.
Schools tackle the growing practice of cheating, Part
By Marsha Sutton, SDNN
July 15, 2010
In Part One, we discussed the prevalence of cheating and the difficulty schools have in catching
cheaters. This installment, Part Two, discusses various methods schools use to curb the practice,
including a unique “Report Cheating” Web site.
Staff at La Jolla High School, part of the San Diego Unified School District, decided several years ago
to take a pro-active stance against cheating, forming a committee composed of teachers, parents and
students to tackle the problem.
“We catch the irregular person, but the question is what are we missing that we don’t know about,”
said LJHS principal Dana Shelburne.
The committee investigated the extent of the problem and looked into what’s being done at the college
level to curtail cheating. Shelburne said they discussed what it means to cheat and what it means to
have authorized collaboration.
Group work, it was determined, must be specifically approved by the teacher. “You can’t turn in
somebody else’s work as your own,” he said.
Shelburne said the school pays to belong to an Internet-based plagiarism detection service called
turnitin.com that monitors the recycling of content. This site is used by other high schools as well.
“When they write essays, they submit them to the teacher via turnitin.com, and that service runs the
paper through its database,” Shelburne said. The service can recognize any text from some other
source, and if there’s a match it will identify the passage and the source.
Elloise Allen, assistant principal at Canyon Crest Academy, estimated that San Dieguito Union High
School District schools catch 10 or fewer cheaters each year. Shelburne said he catches about half
that. Both Allen and Shelburne said the number of kids caught represents the tip of the iceberg.
Allen said it was quiet this year at Canyon Crest, after last year’s major cheating scandal involving
dozens of students, and she speculated on the reasons why.
“You ask yourself if it’s because the teachers are being really pro-active about explaining to kids,” she
said. “Or is it because kids are afraid? Or is it because kids are becoming more sophisticated in it?”
Shelburne said the number caught is so low because “it’s completely contingent upon a teacher
catching the student in the act with something that’s tangible.”
To focus attention school-wide on the matter and provide honest students with the ability to report
cheaters anonymously, a new Web site was created last year at La Jolla High called Report Cheating.
Bee Mittermiller, who was LJHS PTA president from 2006 to 2008, said so many parents wanted the
issue addressed that the committee was formed to work on solutions, and the Web site was one idea.
“It has been a slow, painstaking process,” she wrote in an email last year when the Web site’s pilot
program began. “The idea behind this is to raise awareness of the problem and to allow students to
alert individual teachers about the cheating methods going on without giving names. …
“With a Web site, we are hopeful that the students who are thinking about cheating might reconsider if
they know that other students are watching and have a tool available to inform teachers of cheating
The Web site does not ask for either the identity of the person reporting the activity nor of the cheater.
“Students on the committee said if the students have to self-identify they will never report,” Shelburne
said. “They don’t want to be seen as the snitch.”
Even the identity of the accused cheater is not disclosed on the site, because students could lie and
falsely accuse someone.
“We don’t know who sent it in and we don’t know the offending student, because we know that’s going
nowhere,” Shelburne said. “So it’s a heads-up to the teacher that on that date somebody believes that
some folks were cheating.”
The Web site asks what class the cheating occurred in, when, the number of students involved, what
activity (test, quiz, homework, essay, project, lab, other), the method of cheating (advance copy of test,
calculator, cell phone or texting, other technology, notes, discussion of test outside of class,
plagiarism, talking during test, team-cheating), and why the student is reporting the incident (grade
curve, it’s the right thing to do, fed up with cheating, trying to help the teacher, want to improve the
school, respect for teacher, other).
Shelburne said kids are using the Web site, but the system is still being tweaked and it’s difficult to say
if it’s made a difference yet.
Why smart kids cheat
La Jolla High School, Canyon Crest Academy and Torrey Pines High School have similar
demographics, located in affluent neighborhoods with high-achieving students competing for top spots
in elite universities. This makes some students feel cheating is worth the risk, administrators say.
“The pressures are enormous,” Shelburne said. “Kids are panicking. I’ve got a lot of highly intellectual
students … and they’re so frazzled.”
“They are competing with each other both for grades in classes as well as slots in the universities,”
said San Dieguito associate superintendent Rick Schmitt. “Over my career, in my experience, most of
the kids who get caught cheating are the most competitive kids.”
“In any community where kids are high-achieving, worried and stressed about college, my guess is
that cheating is rampant,” said Allen. “It’s never the kids afraid of failing. It’s the kids trying to get into
highly selective universities. It’s the kid who wants to make sure he keeps his A, it’s the kids who want
to make sure they go to Berkeley, it’s the kid who’s feeling pressured by their parents.”
Allen said the students who cheat are often the ones who are strong students but are socially at risk.
They are vulnerable when, for example, the star lacrosse player asks them for help.
“The kid says sure because they hope this is a way to feel accepted,” she said. “And the next thing you
know, you’re in trouble because you showed somebody your biology lab report.”
Shelburne blames the intensity of the college application process for the increased acceptance of
cheating by students. In an effort to reduce stress, he’d like to eliminate weighted grades, so “kids
would then be out from under the onus of having to take only weighted courses,” he said.
Since colleges recalculate grade point averages anyway, based on their own criteria, weighted grades
provide a false sense of accomplishment, he said. “For some of these kids, getting an A in a regular
old class lowers your GPA,” he said. “So they won’t take these courses, or they try to avoid them.”
Eliminating the weighted grade would reduce the incentive to cheat, Shelburne said, “because you can
get an A without having to get the super-A. It would also allow you not to have to feel that you have to
take four AP courses every year and get overloaded.” Over-extended students may feel they have to
cheat because they can’t keep up, he said.
What students say
Vince Gumina, former Associated Student Body president at La Jolla High School who just graduated
this year, said cheating is rampant, especially among high-achieving kids.
“It’s ironic that a lot of the kids who seem to ‘have all the answers’ really just ‘have all the answer
sheets,’” he wrote in an email. “The college application process is hard. Kids are afraid that if they don’
t bulk up schedules with tons of AP classes, then they won’t get into the college of their dreams. And if
they don’t make it to the college of their dreams, there’s a part of us that pictures ourselves on the side
of the road as a homeless person.”
Gumina said parental pressure also contributes to the cheating epidemic, which drives their children
to cheat “to gain self-worth and acceptance.”
“Tons of my friends and peers cheated regularly on tests, quizzes, homework,” he wrote.
“How do they get the answers? Teachers are lazy and reuse the same tests over and over again, year
after year, without changing the questions/answers. … Some sell these answers. Some give them
away for free.”
Gumina said he had many opportunities to cheat but “would rather fail honestly than passing
“Kids coasted through high school due to cheating,” he said. “Although ‘ratting’ them out is the right
thing to do, students as you may guess frown upon a tattletale. So most observers stay silent. It
bothers a lot of them, but going behind a peer’s back too feels like cheating in its own respect, and
subjects kids to harsh peer criticism.”
Gumina suggested stronger consequences to curtail the practice. “All I could recommend to cut down
on the cheating would be a zero tolerance policy across the board,” he said. “If you are caught cheating,
you fail the class. Plain and simple. Without harsh repercussions, students won’t take other
precautionary measures seriously.”
First-time cheaters at La Jolla High receive a zero on that particular work, but it must be averaged into
the total points for the class because some teachers drop the lowest test, quiz or homework
assignment, Shelburne said.
“Our policy is [that] you don’t get to drop this one,” he said. “You can drop the next one. This one you
have to suffer.”
Shelburne said if a teacher is certain that a student was cheating and is able to describe the activity
convincingly, then the administration will follow through with consequences, despite protestations by
the student or parents.
“That gets dicey sometimes,” he said, but added that often the student admits guilt “because the kid
knows that the teacher wouldn’t report there was cheating unless something pretty overt was taking
A second occurrence of cheating in that class during the same school year means the student must
drop the class and an F appears on the transcript. Students are not expelled for cheating, he said, nor
are they labeled with academic dishonesty on their transcripts.
La Jolla encountered resistance to the Report Cheating Web site, but not from students. Rather, some
teachers were opposed, fearful that the data would be used against them in performance evaluations,
regardless of Shelburne’s assurances to the contrary.
Shelburne said four or five teachers contacted the union representative. “The union rep squawked and
was told by our legal office that there’s not a thing wrong with this Web site,” he said. “You can’t claim
The union was invited to participate in designing the site, and initially agreed, but then never showed
up, according to Shelburne.
The district’s legal office supported the school’s Web site but suggested that teachers be allowed to
opt out, which several have done, to Shelburne’s disappointment. He said teachers could simply
delete the reports or filter them out and they’d never see them.
“A couple said, ‘No, I don’t even want to get a notification that there’s been a report of cheating,’” he
said. “What message are we sending to the kids?”
Shelburne said some of the teachers “couldn’t get their arms around the fact of an anonymous tip
saying there’s cheating in your class. Some of them said, ‘You can’t prove that. That could be some kid
“The answer is, ‘Yeah, it could be.’ But if you get enough of them saying there’s texting on cell phones
in your class, look around and see if there’s texting on cell phones. Be a little more alert to that.”
Shelburne believes the Web site is making a difference “because it’s on the lips of kids,” he said. “And
we made them part of the process of trying to develop a Web site. The kids want to let the information
out. They just don’t want to be identified as the snitch.”
Honest students are frustrated with cheaters, he said, and want cheating to cease. “They see the
inequity of it and they want a way to make it stop,” he said.
Shelburne said students say cheating decreases when teachers develop good rapport with students
and take a firm stand against cheating from the start. Those teachers have fewer problems because
students have respect for the teacher and don’t want to disappoint them.
“If they don’t care about the teacher and the teacher’s a jerk, that’s a whole different story,” he said.
Shelburne said La Jolla High is the only school in the district that offers a Web site that allows cheating
to be reported. “By and large everybody said this is great,” he said.
Canyon Crest’s Allen said the Web site is a useful beginning and that it empowers kids, even though it
is anonymous on both ends. “Giving the teachers a heads-up that cheating is going on in their
classroom is still good even if you don’t know who the cheater is,” she said.
But no one is under any illusions that cheating will disappear.
“Every year kids get caught and every year kids don’t get caught,” said San Dieguito’s Schmitt. “Since
the beginning of my career kids have cheated. Kids have always found ways to beat the system.”
This story first appeared in the Carmel Valley News and Rancho Santa Fe Review. Click here to read
Part One. Marsha Sutton can be reached at: SuttComm@san.rr.com.
Read more: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2010-07-15/education/schools-tackle-the-growing-
reviewing reports of
FBI test cheating
By Carol Cratty
July 28, 2010
Department's Office of
Inspector General has
whether large numbers
of FBI agents may have
improperly taken a test
on guidelines for
agents, according to FBI
Director Robert Mueller.
During a congressional
Mueller was asked about
reports hundreds of
agents may have cheated
on the exams, which
focused on guidelines
that limit surveillance, and
he responded he did not
know the precise number
and is not certain the
inspector general knows
Mueller said the
inspector general has
told him about certain
FBI offices where testing
"widespread, and it may
be attributable to a lack
of understanding and
include instances where
agents finished the
exams much more
quickly than would be
expected, and instances
in which agents might
have taken the test
48% cheat among teachers,
administrators working on
Cheating their way
By Emily Sachar
September 27, 2006
Students pursuing master's
degrees in business administration
(MBA) cheat more than other U.S.
graduate students, according to a
study for the Center for Academic
Integrity at Duke University.
The study found 56 percent of MBA
students acknowledged cheating,
compared with 54 percent in
engineering, 48 percent
in education and 45
percent in law school.
"Business schools have a
significant problem that should be
addressed," said Donald McCabe,
the study's lead author and a
professor at Rutgers University.
Cheating is a problem at all
schools, "even if deans at leading
schools don't want to concede it," he
The study offered two main
explanations for the cheating: The
pressure-cooker atmosphere of
business school leaves many
students willing to compete by any
means available, and corporate
scandals have distorted the
standards of many business
students. The study also said faculty
members at the schools don't do
enough to stop cheating.
The survey, conducted from 2002 to
2004, asked 5,300 students at 54
institutions, including 623 students
at 32 graduate business schools, if
they ever cheated. The findings will
be published this week in the
journal Academy of Management
Learning & Education.
Officials at top business schools
such as Yale, Dartmouth, Stanford
and Wharton said they didn't see
much cheating. Honor codes that
require students to sign a statement
on each test saying they had not
cheated — and some requiring
students to report cheating by others
— are a powerful deterrent, as are
frequent classroom discussions
about ethical behavior, they said.
Student participation in writing honor
codes and serving on discipline
committees also helps, they said.
At the Wharton School at the
University of Pennsylvania, Vice
Dean Anjani Jain said cheating is
"quite rare." Each student fills out an
evaluation at the end of each class
that includes a question about
whether cheating has been
Wharton, with 2,000 MBA students,
has three to seven violations
reported to its ethics committee
each year, Jain said in an e-mail.
The Tuck School was
ranked highest in the
nation by recruiters
for its students'
academic integrity in a
Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive
yearly survey of business schools
published last week.
The study also suggested that
faculty members sometimes enable
cheating by not creating multiple
versions of take-home exams and
by sending mixed messages to
students. For example, students are
encouraged to participate in teams
but told they cannot work together on
some assignments, the report said.
Earlier studies found a high
incidence of cheating among
undergraduate business students.
In 1997, McCabe, a professor of
management and global business
who is regarded by ethics
professors as a leading researcher
on cheating and plagiarism, found
84 percent of undergraduate
business students said they
cheated at least once, compared
with 72 percent of engineering
students and 66 percent of all
In a 1964 study, a Columbia
University researcher reported that
66 percent of business students
surveyed at 99 campuses said they
cheated at least once.
Cheating scandal at [CRESCENDO] charter schools leads
California association to withdraw support
Los Angeles Times
March 3, 2011
The association representing California’s charter schools has withdrawn support for a
group of Los Angeles-area schools that cheated on last year’s state standardized tests.
“Cheating is completely unacceptable and inexcusable in any school," wrote Jed Wallace,
the chief executive of the California Charter Schools Assn., in a letter to the Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Board of Education voted Tuesday to begin the process of revoking the
charter of six schools operated by the Crescendo organization. The campuses likely
would be forced to close by the end of the school year.
"We are in complete support of the LAUSD board’s decision,” Wallace wrote.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the association’s representative had supported a milder response
advanced Monday by incoming L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy. That plan would have
given a one-year charter extension for the two Crescendo schools nearing the end of
their current charter authorization. Four other Crescendo schools, which also participated
in the cheating, would not have been immediately affected.
In a story Monday, The Times disclosed that Crescendo founder and executive director
John Allen had, according to school district documents and officials, ordered principals
and teachers to cheat by breaking the seal on the state tests and using the actual
questions to prepare students for the test...
Vijay Singh's lawyer says, "There should never be an asterisk next to Vijay's name."
And indeed, Singh doesn't seem to have cheated since testing for banned substances
started in 2008. But he also hasn't won since two months after testing began, which is
rather odd for someone who won so often in the past that he made $67 million.
Vijay Singh lawsuit claims PGA improperly proposed
suspension for his use of deer-antler spray
May 8, 2013
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. Vijay Singh sued the PGA Tour on Wednesday, a week
after his doping case was dropped, claiming it damaged his reputation by not doing a
thorough job of researching his use of deer antler spray.
"I am proud of my achievement, my work ethic and the way I live my life," Singh said in a
statement. "The PGA Tour not only treated me unfairly, but displayed a lack of
professionalism that should concern every professional golfer and fan of the game."
Singh filed the lawsuit in New York, where he has a home and the tour has an office.
The 50-year-old Fijian said in a Sports Illustrated article in January that used deer antler
spray, which was said to include an insulin-like growth hormone that was on the tour's
list of banned substances. The tour sent a sample from Singh to be tested, and it
returned small amounts of the IGF-1 chemical.
The lawsuit said the tour notified Singh on Feb. 19 that he was to be suspended for 90
days. Singh appealed. Last week, commissioner Tim Finchem said the tour was
dropping its case based on new information from the World Anti-Doping Agency. He said
WADA informed the tour that using deer antler spray was no longer prohibited because
it contains such minimal amounts of IGF-1.
The lawsuit said the tour relied on WADA's list of banned substances and methods
without doing any of its own research, including whether such substances even provide
any performance-enhancing benefits.
"We have not seen the lawsuit, just the statement," PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw
said. "We have no comment."
The lawsuit also said the tour held Singh's earnings in escrow during his appeal. Singh
earned $99,980 from five tournaments. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
"He's looking to reclaim his reputation and hold the tour accounting for acting
irresponsible," said Jeffrey Rosenblum, one of Singh's lawyers. "He's concerned about
his reputation. There should never be an asterisk next to Vijay's name."
...Singh has made over $67 million on the PGA Tour, which he joined in 1993. He
once was banned by the Asian Tour in 1985 for allegations that he changed his
score to make the cut. Singh recovered from that incident to earn his card on the
European Tour, and then bring his game to America, where he reached No. 1 in
Singh has won the Masters and the PGA Championship among his 34 tour
victories. He holds the PGA Tour record with 22 wins since turning 40. His best
year was in 2004, when he won nine times. Singh has not won since the
Deutsche Bank Championship in September 2008, two months after the
tour's anti-doping program was launched...
|San Diego Education Report