Brad Fritsch suspended 3 months for violating PGA Tour's anti-doping policy
PGA Tour

Brad Fritsch suspended 3 months for violating PGA Tour’s anti-doping policy

Brad Fritsch was suspended for three months by the PGA Tour for violating its anti-doping program, the Tour announced Jan. 8.

Their statement reads in full:

The PGA Tour announced today that Brad Fritsch has violated the PGA Tour Anti-Doping Policy's ban on the use of performance-enhancing substances and has been suspended for three months. Mr. Fritsch self-reported this information after discovering that an ingredient in a supplement that he was taking was on the prohibited list. He has acknowledged his inadvertent error and accepted his suspension. He will be eligible to return on February 28, 2018.

The Tour is offering no further comment on the suspension, but the Canadian Fritsch is. He took to his Facebook page to offer an in-depth, transparent explanation of what happened.

The full post is available here:

Fritsch explains his suspension, retroactive to Nov. 30, 2017, as a result of a mistake relating to a weight-loss program he began with a friend after failing to advance through the second stage of Tour Q-School. He thought it'd be a perfect time to drop some weight and get in better shape.

As part of this diet program, Fritsch was told to take a spray called BioSom. One of Fritsch's brothers texted him that was the name of the spray which got Vijay Singh in trouble for admitting usage of it in a Sports Illustrated piece. That suspension never went through because of a change in how the World Anti-Doping Agency views the illegal ingredient (IGF-1) in the spray, but the ingredient remains illegal. Singh sued the PGA Tour in 2013 over the whole thing, and that's still ongoing almost 5 years later with no trial date in sight.

Fritsch texted Andy Levinson, who runs the PGA Tour anti-doping program. It wasn't the same ingredient as Singh's deer-antler spray, rather, it was DHEA, which is banned under the Tour's program. While Fritsch didn't test positive for DHEA, telling the Tour (or the world) you took a banned substance amounts to a positive drug test.

"I’m just so upset with myself that I didn’t think to question what was in the supplements," Fritsch wrote. "But I never did. And in the program rules, it stipulates that a self-report is the same as a positive test. I did know this when I sent the text to Andy Levinson – like I said above, I believe in the program. I’m a proud member of the PGA Tour and I don’t take that lightly. If there is any silver lining, it’s that I thankfully never played a competitive round during all of this. I don’t feel great about this situation, but I’ve had over a month to kind of process my feelings about it. I’m in a good place (and I’ve lost 28 pounds, so I’ve got that going for me). I’m not sure I’d feel exactly the same way if I had competed against my peers while using a banned substance, even if it was out of ignorance.

"I just wish I had paid attention to the details. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t pay attention to the details."

Fritsch views the suspension with a sense of irony, as he has called for more publication of offenders under the program, even for recreational drugs. Offenses for those recreational substances are not required to be made public by the PGA Tour under the agreement made with players.

"I like the truth, and I hate rumor and innuendo," Fritsch wrote. "I’ve been adamant that we should publicize every offender, no matter the offense. Truthfully, I was mainly thinking of recreational testing when I formulated my opinion, and never for one second considered I would one day be a part of a potential 'performance enhancing' violation. The only thing I would ever test positive for is excessive Chick Fil A."

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

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