The PGA Tour announced several changes to its anti-doping policy on Tuesday morning, including the implementation of blood testing and public reporting of those who are suspended for recreational drug use. All of the changes will be in effect as of the start of the 2017-2018 PGA Tour season.
The Tour is revising its current list of banned substances to include everything on the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List of Substances and Methods, the Tour said in a release. A comprehensive education program for players will attempt to ensure that they are fully aware of how the new process works, the release said.
The Tour currently tests for urine and will continue to do so as its primary method of testing players, but the introduction of periodic blood testing will help to identify some substances that can’t be detected in a urine sample.
“While we are extremely pleased with the implementation and results of the PGA Tour Anti-Doping Program to date, we believe that these changes to our program are prudent in that they further our objectives of protecting the well-being of our members and better substantiate the integrity of golf as a clean sport,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.
Perhaps the most drastic difference will be the public announcement of players who receive a suspension for so-called “drugs of abuse.” The name of the player, their suspension length and the type of suspension (performance-enhancing drugs or drugs of abuse) will be released, a departure from the Tour’s normally tight-lipped way of handling violations for recreational drug use. Currently, the Tour discloses only information related to suspensions related to performance-enhancing drug use.
The Tour’s current anti-doping policy has been in place since 2008.