Kiwi golf legend Sir Bob Charles has withdrawn his long-standing endorsement of deer velvet capsules, after it was revealed they contain a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The scandal first hit the headlines last week, when PGA professional Vijay Singh admitted he had used deer antler spray that contined the ingredient IGF-1, a natural anabolic hormone that stimulates muscle growth.

Also implicated was Baltimore Ravens’ Super Bowl hero Ray Lewis, who was accused of using a similar product to assist his recovery from a bicep tear this NFL season.

Sir Bob has been a prominent advocate of deer velvet capsules for the past 20 years, and local deer industry leaders and golf administrators went to the trouble of issuing a media advisory over the weekend, defending him against any wrong-doing.

But the revelation that these capsules also contain IGF-1, even at a level that supposedly offers no extraordinary benefits, has apparently forced a change of heart for the knight.

“Contrary to statements made by Ian Carline, co-director of Silberhorn Ltd, producer of deer velvet supplements, Sir Bob Charles has withdrawn his endorsement of deer velvet capsules until there is more clarity around amounts of naturally occurring IGF-1 in deer velvet,” says a further release issued today.

“Sir Bob would like to re-iterate his earlier statement that he had no idea the health supplement he has taken and promoted for years contained a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“Sir Bob will be making no further comment.”