Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Banned Doug Barron fails in bid to play at Tour School

MEMPHIS, Tennessee. -- A United States magistrate has denied a temporary restraining order sought by a golfer trying to block a one-year doping ban by the US PGA Tour long enough to let him play at the Tour School qualifying tournament in Houston.
Judge Tu Pham ruled that Doug Barron did not show a likelihood that he would win on his claims argued in an earlier hearing.
Barron, 40, of Memphis was the first to be banned for violating the US Tour policy that went into effect July 3, 2008. Barron, who started his career in 1995, tested positive for the anabolic steroid testosterone and propranolol, a beta-blocker that calms nerves, at the St Jude Classic in Memphis in June.
The judge said Barron made a strong case that personal irreparable harm would be caused but ruled the harm to others and the public interest weighed in favor of denying the "extraordinary remedy" of the restraining order.
In his ruling, Pham wrote that Barron's participating at the Qualifying School competition this week "could raise substantial public policy concerns regarding the enforcement of anti-doping policies in professional sports."
Attorney Jeffrey Rosenblum had argued Barron took the drugs under the supervision of a doctor for "therapeutic use" and made no secret of it. Rosenblum said that Barron is "disabled" under the Americans With Disabilities Act because low testosterone "impairs a major life activity and that is intimacy with your wife."
But attorneys for the US Tour had argued a committee of doctors denied Barron's request for a therapeutic exemption in January 2009. An appeal to use the beta-blocker also was denied.
Rosenblum said later vthat he was disappointed that the restraining order was denied. But he said they were encouraged by several findings by the judge and are considering a possible appeal.
"We consider this ruling to be a partial victory for Doug Barron. The Court's ruling supports our allegations that there are serious questions to be addressed regarding the US Tour's application of its anti-doping policy," Rosenblum said.

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