PGA Tour Suspends Bhavik Patel One Year for PED Violation

January 14, 2015
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The PGA Tour has suspended Bhavik Patel, a 24-year-old Tour pro from Bakersfield, Calif., for one year for violating the PGA Tour’s Anti-Doping Policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

According to a statement issued from Commissioner Tim Finchem’s office, Patel’s suspension began on Oct. 7, 2014, so he will be eligible to play again on Oct. 7, 2015.

“In an effort to overcome an injury, I made a lapse of judgment,” said Patel in the Tour’s statement. “I regret my decision but have learned from the experience and look forward to returning to competition.”

The Tour did not reveal what substance triggered the positive test.

Patel is the second player known to have been suspended by the Tour for violating its performance-enhancing drug policy. Journeyman Doug Barron tested positive for testosterone and a beta-blocker in 2009 and was also suspended for one year, though his suspension was lifted after a lawsuit he filed against the Tour was settled.

Vijay Singh faced discipline following his 2013 admission to Sports Illustrated that he used deer antler spray, a product containing the growth hormone IGF-1, a banned substance, but the Tour reversed its decision after the World Anti-Doping Agency ruled that the product didn’t contain enough IGF-1 to trigger a positive test. Singh’s lawsuit over allegations of “disparate treatment” remains before the New York State Supreme Court, with the next status conference scheduled for Feb. 15.

According to the PGA Tour’s Anti-Doping Program Manual, in the event of a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs resulting in a suspension or disqualification, it is the Tour’s policy to “publish the name of the player, the fact that the player committed an anti-doping rule violation, and the sanction imposed.”

The Tour is not required to announce any disciplinary actions against players who test positive for recreational drugs.

What do you think of the PGA Tour’s Anti-Doping Program? Join the debate in the comments section below.