PGA Tour suspends Mark Hensby for 1-year for anti-doping program violation
PGA Tour

PGA Tour suspends Mark Hensby for 1-year for anti-doping program violation

The PGA Tour has suspended Australian Mark Hensby retroactively for one year following a violation of the Tour's anti-doping program.

According to the PGA Tour, Hensby failed to supply a sample for drug testing after receiving notification one was needed. Ultimately, after an appeals process likely heard from Hensby, the decision came down to suspend Hensby from all PGA Tour-sanctioned competition until Oct. 26, 2018.

The PGA Tour is declining to provide more materials around Hensby's case.

PGA Tour anti-doping program suspensions

Hensby is the fourth player to be suspended under the PGA Tour's anti-doping program since it was instituted in 2008. Doug Barron, Bhavik Patel and Scott Stallings were previously issued with public suspensions for violations of the anti-doping program.

Barron, banned for one year, sued the PGA Tour over his suspension, claiming his low testosterone level had been made clear to the Tour as he sought a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) to allow him to treat his condition with testosterone supplements and beta blockers. Eventually, Barron and the Tour settled the lawsuit.

Patel, a player on the Tour, was suspended for one year. He did not engage in a lawsuit or contest the suspension.

Stallings was suspended in July 2015 for 90 days after self-reporting to the Tour he had taken DHEA, which can precipitate testosterone production and is a banned substance despite being available in supplemental stores like GNC. Stallings' doctor prescribed he take DHEA, aware of the potential issue with the anti-doping program. Stallings took the substance for two months before realizing he could be in trouble.

Vijay Singh was going to be suspended by the PGA Tour in 2013 for admitting in a Sports Illustrated piece he had taken a product called deer-antler spray, which contains an ingredient called IGF-1. That ingredient was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which informs the PGA Tour's list of banned substances. However, mid-process, WADA reversed its opinion on IGF-1, a substance which must be absorbed into the blood stream to have any potential effect but was ingested orally by Singh. The Tour withdrew its planned suspension. Singh sued the PGA Tour over the incident, and that suit remains active more than four years later in New York Supreme Court.

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