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R&A confirm just eight players drug-tested at last year's Open Championship

By Carl Markham

Just eight drugs tests were conducted at last year's Open Championship at St Andrews, the R&A has announced.

Rory McIlroy's comments on Tuesday about how the sport needs to improve its doping policy grabbed headlines on the eve of The Open at Royal Troon.

As no blood tests are taken, the Holywood star claimed he could take human growth hormone - undetectable in urine samples - and "get away with it" if he wanted.

The R&A, which organises the event, was challenged on this and chief executive Martin Slumbers had to admit he did not know how many tests were carried out among the 156 players over the four days of competition 12 months ago.

That number was subsequently confirmed as eight by the R&A.

"Our anti-doping policy follows that of the European Tour. The tour administer it and run it on our behalf," said Slumbers.

"Our belief is that we should be as a sport right at the highest level of standards around anti-doping and that's something that the tours and ourselves are privately talking about. It's not a matter for public discussion."

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