South African golfer fails drug test, slapped with year-long suspension from professional game

South African golfer fails drug test, slapped with year-long suspension from professional game

The Sunshine tour has handed down a one-year suspension to one of its members after he failed an anti-doping test.

Etienne Bond, 36, played 2017 primarily on the Big Easy Tour, a developmental professional tour that feeds to the South Africa-based Sunshine Tour.

According to a report from Sport 24, Bond failed a urine sample test for the use of Carvedilol, which is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency as a beta blocker. Carvedilol is typically used to treat heart failure and high blood pressure, and it’s often prescribed after heart attacks.

Athletes in sports requiring a steady hand have illicitly used beta blockers for years because they block the effects of adrenaline and allow a competitor to better manage their heart rate and anxiety.

Because Bond did not have an exemption allowing him use of the substance, he admitted his guilt for violating the Members General Regulations of the tour. His punishment includes disqualification from 2017 events, a removal from the Big Easy Tour’s final order of merit, and a 12-month suspension from professional golf events that will keep him out until Oct. 2, 2018. Bond has also been fined 5,000 rand, the equivalent of roughly $350.

The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) conducts testing of urine samples on behalf of the Southern Africa PGA Tour, on the Sunshine Tour and Big Easy Tour.

Bond is ranked No. 1,929 in the world. His highest ranking, No. 1113, came after a T-10 finish at the Sunshine Tour’s 2015 Mopani/Redpath Zambia Open.