The PGA Tour has suspended Bhavik Patel for one year as a result of a violation of its anti-doping program.
The 24-year-old, who turned pro in 2012, tested positive for an unidentified banned substance on Oct. 7, 2014, and will be suspended a year from that date.
“In an effort to overcome an injury, I made a lapse of judgment,” Patel said in a statement. “I regret my decision but have learned from the experience and look forward to returning to competition.”
Patel finished 103rd on the Web.com Tour money list in 2014, with his best finish a T-6 effort at the early season Chile Classic. In 11 other starts, Patel made six cuts and missed five in a row from the end of March through May.
The Fresno State product is just the second player to have a sustained suspension announced publicly by the PGA Tour. Back in 2009, little-known Doug Barron was suspended a year for a failed test involving testosterone. Barron suffers from low testosterone and sued the PGA Tour for their handling of his case. His suspension was lifted two months early, with the lawsuit settled.
Vijay Singh never tested positive for a banned substance, but did admit in a January 2013 Sports Illustrated piece that he had taken a substance known as deer-antler spray, which contains a then-banned, insulin-like ingredient called IGF-1, that Singh sprayed in his mouth. Under the tour’s program, admission of taking a banned substance is tantamount to a positive test. The tour was prepared to suspend Singh for six months for the infraction, but following a final consultation with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the tour learned it no longer considered the product banned when ingested orally. Singh has sued the PGA Tour in New York Supreme Court for its handling of his case.