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Suspension of Doug Barron Makes PGA Tour Look Silly

Doug Barron hits his approach shot on the third hole during the 2005 EDS Byron Nelson Championship at the TPC Las Colinas in Irving, TX.

Doug Barron hits his approach shot on the third hole during the 2005 EDS Byron Nelson Championship at the TPC Las Colinas in Irving, TX.

Earlier this month, Doug Barron, an almost unknown player who lost his tour card three years ago, became the first player to be suspended by the PGA Tour for violating their new drug policy. Barron has been suspended for one year.

“I would like to apologize for any negative perception of the TOUR or its players resulting from my suspension. I want my fellow TOUR members and the fans to know that I did not intend to gain an unfair competitive advantage or enhance my performance while on TOUR,” said Barron.

Under its doping policy, the PGA Tour doesn’t disclose what substance a player used. British Open champion Stewart Cink commented, “I know him a little bit. He’s taken medicine in the past for a lot of different reasons. I would think that has a lot to do with it.” Jerry Kelly, who’s known Barron for years, said he had several health issues. “My big question is whether he was doing something to make himself feel better and did not get the therapeutic use exemption,” Kelly said. “I mean, this guy had health problems.”

Less than two weeks after the PGA Tour announcement, attorneys for Doug Barron, sought a temporary restraining order (the request was denied). Attorney Jeffrey Rosenblum, said his client took testosterone and propranolol under the supervision of a doctor for “therapeutic use.”

If drugs were “performance enhancing” surely Barron would have done a lot better in 2009: five tournaments, four missed cuts and one disqualification. No money earned. And, do you remember the story of Barron taking off his shirt during play at a 2006 tournament at Innisbrook? This was not a man of awesome physique.

“I don’t believe it,” Rod Pampling said. “Doug Barron? Look at the man. Tell him to take his shirt off and ask anyone, ‘Do you believe he’s on performance-enhancing drugs?”‘

As a professional golfer with tournament experience, I can tell you that this is a non-issue and I think it makes the PGA look silly. To ban someone who is not only ranked #1150 in the World Rankings but is only #349 in the USA. This is not someone who has posed a threat to the top players in the game. The PGA Tour should have sidestepped this one. I think this loses credibility with the general public. What are your thoughts?

Related: Does PGA Tour drug policy turn blind eye to recreational drugs?

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