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Singh claims ignorance on use of deer spray

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Vijay Singh says he has used deer-antler spray and wasn't aware that it may contain a substance banned by the PGA Tour.

The 49-year-old Fijian first revealed he used the spray in an interview with Sports Illustrated. The magazine said Singh paid one of Sports With Alternatives To Steroids' owners $9,000 last November for the spray, hologram chips and other products.

The magazine also reported Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis sought help from SWATS in his recovery from a torn right triceps. The company says its deer-antler substance contains a banned performance-enhancer connected to human growth hormone.

Singh released a statement Wednesday at the Phoenix Open.

"While I have used deer-antler spray, at no time was I aware that it may contain a substance that is banned under the PGA Tour Anti-Doping Policy," Singh said in the statement.

"In fact, when I first received the product, I reviewed the list of ingredients and did not see any prohibited substances. I am absolutely shocked that deer-antler spray may contain a banned substance and am angry that I have put myself in this position. I have been in contact with the PGA Tour and am co-operating fully with their review of this matter. I will not be commenting further at this time."

PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said the tour is "looking into the matter."

"I know that it's obviously illegal, whatever it is," Masters champion Bubba Watson said. "It sounds like something I would never want near me... I don't even know how you take deer-antler spray.

"It's sad that people live and die by their sport and they have to, I guess, cheat and go around it and try to better themselves with deer-antler spray. I'm not just going to take something and ask questions later. I'm not going to take deer antler-spray and find out what it is later... I think we should check them for mental problems if they're taking deer-antler spray. That's kind of weird."

Singh won the last of his 34 PGA Tour titles in 2008. The three-time major champion also has 22 international victories. Early in his career, he was suspended from the Asian Tour for two years for altering his scorecard during a tournament in Indonesia.

Raps swing deal for Gay

TORONTO -- The Toronto Raptors have traded point guard Jose Calderon and forward Ed Davis to the Memphis Grizzlies for forward Rudy Gay and centre Hamed Haddadi.

The Raptors confirmed the deal Wednesday night while the team was taking on the Hawks in Atlanta.

Toronto is also sending a second-round draft choice in 2013 and cash considerations to the Grizzlies, who are flipping Calderon to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for forwards Austin Daye and Tayshaun Prince.

"This is the type of deal we have been looking for to take our team another step forward," said Raptors president and GM Bryan Colangelo in a statement.

"Rudy Gay is a dynamic wing that elevates our talent level significantly."

Calderon was the longest-serving member of the Raptors, having played his entire NBA career in Toronto. The six-foot-three Spaniard joined the team in the 2005-06 season and has played in 525 games, averaging 10.0 points and 7.2 assists per game.

Davis was Toronto's 13th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. In his two seasons, Davis has averaged 7.0 points and 6.9 rebounds mostly in a reserve role, although he has started several games this year with Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas out with injuries.

Gay, the Grizzlies' leading scorer, has been the subject of trade speculation throughout the season as Memphis looks to unload his hefty max contract. The 6-8 small forward is due US$16.5 million this season with $37 million more over the next two years.

Davis, who has two more seasons left on his deal, is set to make $3.1 million next season.

Ottawa prepping for CFL

OTTAWA, Ont. -- Marcel Desjardins has no problem being the face of Ottawa's new CFL franchise.

The 46-year-old native of Burlington, Ont., was named general manager of Ottawa's yet unnamed expansion club Wednesday. The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, which owns the franchise, ended months of speculation by unveiling Desjardins as its first GM.

His contract is reportedly a four-year deal.

Desjardins takes on the task of building the new Ottawa team after spending the last four seasons as the assistant general manager for the Montreal Alouettes. Desjardins served as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats GM in 2007 before returning to Montreal.

"It's a tremendous opportunity and something I really look forward to," Desjardins said. "I have my thoughts on how I want to set everything up.

"To do it from the ground up, not only people-wise, but from the actual offices and locker-room and all that stuff. It's a lot, but it's like you're building a model."

Jeff Hunt, the president of OSEG Sports, said the process of selecting a general manager was intense and lengthy but the ownership group felt Desjardins' experience made him the logical choice.

"Any expansion team in any sport would probably have four or five things that you really want to have and I think Marcel has all of those things," Hunt said. "Chief among them, in my mind, is his experience.

"His experience with Montreal, which I think is the most admired franchise in the CFL right now as far as on-field success goes, will be an incredible addition."

The Ottawa franchise is slated to begin play in 2014 and Desjardins has plenty of work ahead of him.

Ottawa will select four NCAA underclassmen in this year's CFL draft before participating in December in a three-round expansion draft of players made available from the existing eight clubs. Then in 2014, the franchise will take part in the league's Canadian college draft.

-- From the wire services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 31, 2013 D8

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