European Tour to begin drug testing in July

VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) — The European Tour will introduce random drug testing after July 1.

Tour operations director David Garland, who is responsible for implementing the tests, said it would begin before the European Open, which starts July 3 at the London Club.

"Because it is supposed to be random and the players are not supposed to know," Garland said at the BMW PGA Championship. "So it could be any time after July 1."

The European and U.S. Tours are acting together to implement the policy.

Garland said several anti-doping seminars had been held during tournaments since late last year, with between 20 and 30 players attending each one.

"One is enough for each player," he said. "I think we've got our message out there."

Garland said players were already contacting the tour doctor over medical supplements and medications, such as treatments for hay fever.

At least two more seminars are scheduled, at next month's tournaments in France, the St. Omer Open and the French Open.

Garland said he expected "a few" players would be tested at each tournament.

The program will eventually cover all of golf's major events. The Royal and Ancient Club won't begin testing at this year's British Open at Royal Birkdale in July because international qualifying had already been held without it.

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