Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

PGA Tour to start blood testing in October

PGA Tour to start blood testing in October

For the first time, the tour will do blood testing and is also bringing its list of banned substances in line with the World Anti-Doping Association.

An education program will be provided to ensure that all players understand the new procedures and are aware of banned substances ahead of the 2017-18 season. "Really, one of the few things only detectable in blood is HGH".

The Tour will still use urine testing to combat anti-doping but the added use of blood testing will detect substances such as human growth hormone.

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The Tour will maintain a comprehensive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) programme, which enables players with legitimate medical conditions to use prohibited substances as prescribed by their doctors and under the advisement of the TUE Committee. The Tour, which now makes public only suspensions for performance-enhancing drugs, will also begin reporting suspensions for recreational drugs. Disciplinary matters related to Conduct Unbecoming a Professional are not reported to the public; thus, violations related to drugs of abuse have been treated confidentially.

Tuesday morning, the PGA Tour announced multiple changes to its drug testing program, with one being of major significance.

The tour's policy has been controversially thin in the past, particularly amid scandals in other sports like cycling and baseball.

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Previously, only those who had been suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs were named.

The PGA Tour provides the week-to-week competitions for numerous world's top golfers who base themselves in the USA, while the European Tour does so in Europe. "We saw no impact", he said.

The tour said it would spend the next three months explaining to the players the changes to the system.

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