Very good post with some excellent points.
For me, this all goes back to Doug Barron back in 2009, the first and only PGA Tour player who has been suspended by the tour for violating their PED policy, via (then) the WADA guidelines. It had been medically established that Barron had a heart condition, and was taking beta blockers to relieve anxiety, which has been clinically proven to be an associated condition that exacerbates a heart disease condition. As a result, his testosterone levels (according to independent medical experts not affiliated with the tour) were likewise lower than normal, which naturally can and often does impact sexual drive.
So you've got a guy who has a verifiable heart condition. Check.
You've got a guy who has been prescribed medication (beta blockers) for said heart condition. Check.
You've got a guy, 40-years old at the time, who (for the lack of a better word) wants to maintain an intimate relationship with his wife. Check.
You've got a guy whose personal physicians prescribed him supplemental testosterone, to help with his intimacy issues with his wife. Check.
Two drugs. Two drugs that were prescribed by medical experts, not in an effort to elevate his performance on the golf course, but to address medical conditions and improve his overall quality of life off the golf course.
Here are a couple of quotes that were made by two of his peers who knew him fairly well.
"I don't believe it," Rod Pampling said. "Doug Barron? Look at the man. Tell him to take his shirt off and ask anyone, 'Do you believe he's on performance-enhancing drugs?"
"My big question is whether he was doing something to make himself feel better and did not get the therapeutic use exemption," (Jerry) Kelly said. "I mean, this guy had health problems. I was shocked when I heard, but I also understand knowing that he was trying to feel better."
Doug Barron. A guy who had the physique more befitting of a professional bowler as opposed to an Olympian. A guy who was simply trying to prevent a health condition from deteriorating, and improving the quality of his personal intimate life with his wife, because of the associated health conditions. Medical experts testified and begged for understanding on his behalf in the appeal. The tour still didn't care, because they needed to make an example out of someone to prove that they were serious about PED violations, especially since an upcoming vote to include golf in future Olympic events was nearing.
In the end, the tour's suspension was upheld, and Doug Barron's situation was disclosed publicly for everyone to see/hear/read about. And given the nature of what was required of him during the appeals process, his privacy regarding his medical conditions (not to mention his shortcomings in his private life) was likewise made public.
So if you're asking if a guy who comes up hot because of recreational drug use, which is forbidden by the PGA Tour's drug policy (whether it's marijuana, cocaine or whatever), deserves more privacy than was granted Doug Barron back in 2009?
It's hard for me to rationalize that.
That essentially ended Doug Barron's career. And although I sincerely hope that Dustin Johnson continues to take full advantage of a rather lenient, under-the-rug behind-closed-doors come-to-jesus moment with Finchem a few years ago, I still can't help but note the disparity with how those two situations were dealt.
But on a related note... Vijay Singh's lawsuit against the PGA Tour has been reviewed and allowed to move forward, the issue with the Deer Antler Spray (as most will recall). Vijay is moving forward with the lawsuit because he claims it has damaged his reputation. This is not good news for the PGA Tour brass, namely former commissioner Tim Finchem.
If Vijay doesn't settle, which is precisely what the PGA Tour is aiming for - an out of court settlement so they don't have to open the books and all of their drug-testing procedures and results over the past several years - we might find a little more than just a few skeletons in their closet.
I'm not a fan of Vijay Singh, but I hope he declines the settlement. What might be revealed could blow the lid off of what has otherwise been perceived as a clean, gentleman's sport that claims it has absolutely no bias toward its' star players.