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Norman says 'lots of guys' were using beta blockers

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Norman says 'lots of guys' were using beta blockers

Greg Norman

In the wake of Charlie Beljan overcoming an apparent panic attack en route to winning last week at Disney, two-time major champion Greg Norman shared insight on steps players took to calm their nerves during his playing career.

"In my day, lots of guys were on beta blockers," Norman explained in an interview with the New York Times at this year's PGA Championship . "It wasn't openly acknowledged, but it was obvious to the rest of us. A guy's personality would change."

Often prescribed to treat panic attacks or stage fright, beta blockers can provide other benefits to those in high-pressure situations - benefits to which Norman, 57, alluded in the interview, which was part of a report published Wednesday.

"In practice rounds or friendly matches, we'd see the real guy under stress. Then in competition, he was like a different, calmer person," he explained. "Those guys were trying to take the nerves out of the game."

While constructing its anti-drug policy in 2008, the PGA Tour followed the examples of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and World Anti-Doping Agency, both of which include beta blockers on their list of banned substances for major sporting events like the Olympics . Beta blockers are similarly banned on the LPGA Tour.

"One of the many pharmacological uses of beta blockers is the steadying of hand tremors," Andy Levinson, executive director of the PGA Tour's anti-doping program, explained in the report. "Anything requiring fine motor skills could be affected, something necessary in sports like archery or golf."

Following his victory at the season's final event, Beljan indicated that he would consult with physicians and could possibly receive medication to prevent future panic attacks, according to the report. He likely would not be allowed to take those medications during competition next year without applying for a therapeutic use exemption from the PGA Tour, which would require a review by an independent panel of doctors.

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golftalkcentral/norman-says-lots-of-guys-were-using-beta-blockers/

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Here is my question... Is the PGA even testing professionals for banned substances like Beta Blockers?  My understanding is currently under the current policies that they are not... They are basically letting the professionals self police themselves, and then if someone is suspicious - or accused of using a banned substance, then the PGA will investigate that claim accordingly?  If I'm wrong, please let me know.

But if I'm right, I find it to be kind of a joke to have policies if they aren't really enforcing or monitoring them.  If you really want to have a pure athlete, I believe they should randomly test the professionals on the day of competition, before or after a round.  Several times throughout the season.  Institute a rule that you have to be at the course an hour before your tee time, and or an hour after your tee time.  Where there is a chance that an official will request you to take the screening test.

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Oh, and Greg Norman should just quietly stop doing interviews.

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Never been a beta blocker made strong enough to stop Greg shitting in his own pocket.

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Originally Posted by Stretch

Never been a beta blocker made strong enough to stop Greg shitting in his own pocket.

What I find interesting is GN was absoultely certain guys were using BBs because they acted differently in practice rounds versus tournament rounds? Who doesn't?

One counts and one doesn't. That in itself would account for different behavior.

Good to see that GN also has a freekin' medical degree. Amazing individual.

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If Greg had a d*ck blocker and a beta blocker, he'd have had less wives and more majors...

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Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond

If Greg had a d*ck blocker and a beta blocker, he'd have had less wives and more majors...

The problem is a d*ck blocker would prevent him from entering the room.

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Here is my question... Is the PGA even testing professionals for banned substances like Beta Blockers?  My understanding is currently under the current policies that they are not... They are basically letting the professionals self police themselves, and then if someone is suspicious - or accused of using a banned substance, then the PGA will investigate that claim accordingly?  If I'm wrong, please let me know. But if I'm right, I find it to be kind of a joke to have policies if they aren't really enforcing or monitoring them.  If you really want to have a pure athlete, I believe they should randomly test the professionals on the day of competition, before or after a round.  Several times throughout the season.  Institute a rule that you have to be at the course an hour before your tee time, and or an hour after your tee time.  Where there is a chance that an official will request you to take the screening test.

I thought they'd instituted random testing a few years ago. Wasn't there a story about Rory or some big name being tested after taking an early-round lead in early 2012? In doubt anyone would call out Rory without basically everyone being called out. Or am I just thinking about steroids and beta blockers would fall under a different category?

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I don`t know anything about the PGA Tour`s testing policy (or lack thereof) but this is not the first time I have heard the use of beta blockers mentioned.  GN may not have a medical degree, etc. but I suspect there is some truth to what he is saying.

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Just for accuracy -- beta blockers are a legitmate part of treatment for heart disease.  I take a beta blocker prescribed by my cardiologist to manage my heart rate and blood pressure.  The beta blockers are very powerful medications and they have had to make dosage adjustments and different formulas over the years.  I also take other meds for my heart issues, and it all has to be kept in a close balance and with monitoring.  Too much beta blocker or too little can be a problem, depending on the given situation.  Just my two cents....

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I think Greggy is just speaking out of his ass again.  To quote Jack Nicklaus, "Down boy".

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I am on a beta blocker after heart surgery, and while it does lower my heart rate, I still get nerves on the occasional putt. But I'm not using drugs for that condition. I'm changing my routine to make sure I think less...

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Greg:  You aren't going to be relevant no matter what famous tennis player you marry and get all kissy-faced in public with (and then divorce because you can't agree which house to live in), no matter what slams you make at Tiger, no matter what slams you make at contemporaries of yours, no matter what "provocative" claims you make - no matter what.  You were an uber-talented guy who had a missing clutch gene when it counted.  Be glad you have all the money you do and just shut up and go away.

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I would love for guys that make these kind of claims to actually name names. Norman has an inflated sense of self. This guy is more famous for what he lost, rather than what he won. Name some guys that benefitted, or shut up!

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If there was such a thing as "Norman Blockers", I'll bet most guys would be using them.

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I like what NASCAR and the Olympics do.. If you win, get ready for the inspection or pee test..  Random smandom.. Just do a simple method.. IF you finish in the top 5, you are going to do a test.. NO EXCEPTIONS.. I really don't care that someone cheats and loses.. but when you cheat and win, you will be caught.. Make sure to have strict penalties too.. First offense, DQ from current week and 2 weeks suspension.. Second offense, DQ from current week and suspension for 1 year.. Thirst offense = PERMA BANNED.. Done..

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That only works for certain drugs. For things like steroids, HGH, and the like you need out of competition testing.   And yes I have no doubt that low doses of steroids will help your golf game. Anything that lets you train harder without getting injuried is a big plus at the top levels.

Originally Posted by ThominOH

I like what NASCAR and the Olympics do.. If you win, get ready for the inspection or pee test..  Random smandom.. Just do a simple method.. IF you finish in the top 5, you are going to do a test.. NO EXCEPTIONS.. I really don't care that someone cheats and loses.. but when you cheat and win, you will be caught.. Make sure to have strict penalties too.. First offense, DQ from current week and 2 weeks suspension.. Second offense, DQ from current week and suspension for 1 year.. Thirst offense = PERMA BANNED.. Done..

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