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PGA TOUR Anti-Doping Program

The objective of the PGA TOUR’s Anti-Doping Program is to aggressively deter the use of any prohibited substance. The key elements of the program include player outreach and education, prohibited substances and methods, therapeutic use exemptions, testing protocol and procedure, and guidelines governing sanctions and program administration. A summary of each of these elements follows.

Player Outreach and Education

All PGA TOUR players receive an Anti-Doping Program Manual that is updated annually. The manual contains significant detail about all aspects of the Program. Information about the Program is posted on player-access websites. Players also have 24-hour-a-day confidential access to medical and program advisors who can respond to any questions relating to specific substances, medications or testing procedures. Anti-Doping staff and medical experts will be on site at several tour stops during the 2013 FedExCup schedule to answer any questions players may have about the Program.

Prohibited Substances

The PGA TOUR Prohibited Substances and Methods includes:
  • Anabolic Agents (e.g., steroids)
  • Hormones and Related Substances (e.g., human growth hormone, testosterone, EPO)
  • Agents with Anti-Estrogenic Activity (to artificially increase testosterone level)
  • Diuretics and other masking Agents
  • Stimulants (e.g. Ritalin)
  • Narcotics
  • Cannabinoids
  • Beta Blockers
  • Enhancement of Oxygen Transfer (blood doping)
  • Chemical and Physical Manipulation (tampering with a sample)
  • Gene Doping

Therapeutic Use Exemptions

The TOUR’s Anti-Doping Program includes a process for players to apply to receive a Therapeutic Use Exemption to use a banned substance if there is a legitimate medical need as determined by the TOUR’s medical committee.

This TUE medical committee is chaired by the TOUR’s anti-doping Medical Advisor, Tom Hospel, M.D. Dr. Hospel is Board Certified in Sports Medicine, has served as the team physician for The Ohio State University and practices medicine with the Medical Advisor for the NFL Anti-Doping Program. The TUE medical committee also includes a number of other highly regarded physicians from various medical disciplines.

Testing Protocol

As with the overall Anti-Doping Program, the TOUR’s primary objective with its testing protocol is to have a credible process that will aggressively and effectively deter the use of any prohibited substance. Under the terms of the program, the TOUR has the authority to test players at any time or place. All testing will be without prior notice. Testing done at tournament sites may be conducted both on practice/pro-am days and before or after competitive rounds. There is not a stated minimum or maximum number of times a year that an individual player may be tested.

The TOUR takes significant steps to ensure that the confidentiality, security and integrity of the entire process is preserved for the membership. To implement the testing process, the TOUR has engaged the National Center for Drug Free Sport (Drug Free Sport). Individuals employed by Drug Free Sport are specifically trained to ensure a confidential and professional testing experience. Drug Free Sport also provides players with a telephone and online Resource Exchange Center for confidential inquiries regarding supplements and prohibited substances.

Drug Free Sport assists in the player education program in addition to conducting the actual testing. Drug Free Sport also provides drug testing or education services for the National Football League, Minor League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Collegiate Athletic Association and hundreds of colleges and universities.

Sanctions

Players who have been tested will be notified of the results by the TOUR Program Administrator. If it is determined that a player committed a violation of the Anti-Doping Program, the player will be notified of the violation and the sanction. Players will have an opportunity to appeal a sanction which will be administered by a panel of independent arbitrators.

Under the program, the TOUR has the authority to impose a variety of sanctions, which may include: disqualification, ineligibility for up to one year for a first violation, up to five years for a second violation, and up to a lifetime ban for multiple violations, and fines up to $500,000.

For any player who fails a test and is issued sanctions, the TOUR will disclose that the player violated the TOUR’s Anti-Doping Program and will report the penalty.

Program Administration

Andy Levinson, Executive Director, Policy Administration, is the Program Administrator. The TOUR engages outside policy and medical experts to assist in the administration of the program, including player education programs and the testing process. The TOUR has worked closely with Richard Young, one of the world’s foremost anti-doping experts and the principal draftsman of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code. Young has served on the WADA Board since 2004.