PGA Tour adds blood testing for PEDs next season

Sandy Mccarthy
June 20, 2017

The PGA Tour has confirmed a significant number of changes to its anti-doping program next season, including the introduction of blood testing and the public disclosure of suspensions for recreational drug violations.

The tour also is bringing its list of banned substances in line with the World Anti-Doping Association.

"Urine is the far more efficient testing method of 98 percent-plus of what we're looking for", Andy Levinson, the tour's senior vice president of tournament administration, who oversees the anti-doping policy, said.

The introduction of blood testing - in order to detect substances like Human Growth Hormone - and adopting WADA's prohibited list have always been called for, as the PGA Tour's own list has differed in three categories relating to asthma medications, allergy and anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids and pseudoephedrine over a designated threshold level.

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The tour's policy has been controversially thin in the past, particularly amid scandals in other sports like cycling and baseball. HGH, which is most well-known for its alleged ties to National Football League players recovering from injuries, couldn't be detected at all.

The changes, which will take effect when the new season begins in October, will allow for the detection of Human Growth Hormone, which can not be found through urine samples.

Now the Tour only discloses suspension information for violations related to performance-enhancing drugs, while other violations related to "conduct unbecoming a professional" were handled confidentially.

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