Golf: Saltman ban splits Tour professionals

EUROPEAN Tour players are split over whether disciplinary procedures need to be changed in the wake of the ban given to Lothians golfer Elliot Saltman.

As Saltman's lawyers weigh up a possible appeal that has to be lodged before Tuesday, they could be looking closely at the fact the ban was imposed by a players' committee.

This has led to calls for the Tour's disciplinary procedure to be reviewed but, at the same time, some players believe the policing system in the game should stay exactly as it is.

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"I don't see a problem (with the current system)," said former Ryder Cup player Oliver Wilson. "I think it is better coming from the players because we police ourselves every week."

Agreeing with that view, USPGA champion Martin Kaymer said: "I think it should be the tournament committee. They are the closest people (to such matters). They know the rules."

Taking an opposite view is world No.?1 Lee Westwood, who said: "I think it should be independent."

And, referring specifically to the Saltman case, he added: "Instances like that should be taken out of the players' control. It needs to be a committee made up of R&A and European Tour officials."

All those players were speaking during 'Special Report', a programme screened last night on Sky Sports News HD.

It also included Saltman's first interview since he became only the third player to be handed a ban for cheating by the European Tour three weeks ago.

The 28-year-old didn't give much away due to the fact the matter is currently in the hands of his lawyers. But he hinted that he could well accept the punishment and try to move on instead of lodging an appeal and running the risk of a longer ban.

"Obviously, I'm a bit gutted that this all happened," said Saltman. "It's in the hands of the solicitors and lawyers, and I can't really say anything unfortunately until they point me in the right direction.

"Hopefully, we'll either get something sorted or I'll just take my three month ban and come out a stronger and a better person."