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PGA Golf

Agent refutes journeyman’s claim that Tiger Woods is serving drug suspension

Some inflammatory comments made about Tiger Woods by a journeyman PGA Tour player during a radio interview last week are being vehemently denied by Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg.

Dan Olsen, who last played in a PGA Tour event in 2011, claimed during an interview Friday with 730 WVFN’s David “Mad Dog” DeMarco that Woods is not taking a leave of absence from competitive golf. Instead, the 48-year-old journeyman said he heard Woods is serving a one-month suspension for drug use.

Woods announced on Feb. 11 that he was taking a break from tournament golf to work on his game after withdrawing from the Farmers Insurance Open, a tournament in which Woods struggled mightily and was simply the latest in a string of tremendously sub-par performances by the golfer.

Steinberg came out and blasted the unsubstantiated accusations made by Olsen in a statement Monday.

“These claims are absolutely, unequivocally and completely false,” said Steinberg the statement, via ESPN. “They are unsourced, unverified and completely ridiculous. The PGA Tour has confirmed that there is no truth to these claims.”

Olsen said an exempt tour player told him about the suspension.

“I heard he’s on a month’s suspension … it’s kind of a strong witness. It’s a credible person who is telling me this,” Olsen said. “It’s not testosterone, but it’s something else,” Olsen said. “I think when it’s all said and done, he’s gonna surpass Lance Armstrong with infamy.”

Olsen wouldn’t reveal the identity of the golfer who allegedly told him about Woods, nor would he admit that he believed the rumor.

Olsen made an additional claim alleging that Woods has used an illegal Nike ball and that is why he never gives them away as souvenirs to fans.

As noted in the ESPN report, if Woods had failed a drug test and was serving a suspension, the PGA Tour would report it. On the other hand, were the source of the suspension due to the use of a recreational drug, PGA Tour policy specifies it does not have to disclose the nature of the suspension, or the suspension at all.

The PGA Tour later issued a statement of its own denying any validity to the allegations.

“There is no truth whatsoever to these claims,” Ty Votaw, the executive vice president of the PGA Tour, said Monday. “We categorically deny these allegations.”

Some suspected when Dustin Johnson took his leave of absence last year for personal issues that the leave wasn’t voluntary and Johnson instead was serving a non-disclosed suspension for drug use.

Olsen backed off his story Monday, saying, “Everything I said on that radio interview was only my opinion and not based on any first-hand knowledge or facts.”

He also admitted to ESPN.com’s Michael Collins that he completely understands how the allegations appear, given not only their nature but also their source.

“I’ll be looked at as just some crazy f— nobody making accusations about Tiger,” Olsen said.