PGA Tour announces changes to drug testing protocols

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PGA Tour announces changes to drug testing protocols

Another four - Beijing, Doha, Madrid and Rio - have only recently been reinstated, while Moscow's lab lost its accreditation entirely when its central role in Russia's state-sponsored doping programme was revealed in 2015.

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.

The PGA Tour announced June 20 it will be making significant improvements and changes to its Anti-Doping Program for the 2018-19 season to make the 10-year-old program more comprehensive and more transparent.

Now the Tour only discloses suspension information for violations related to performance-enhancing drugs, while other violations related to "conduct unbecoming a professional" were handled confidentially.

During the three-month suspension the UCLA lab will still be able to test for some banned substances.

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In another major move, any player violations, whether for PEDs or recreational drugs, will also be reported publicly with the start of the new season.

Commissioner Jay Monahan said the changes would "better substantiate the integrity of golf as a clean sport".

Currently, violations for drugs of abuse are handled under the PGA TOUR Tournament Regulations as Conduct Unbecoming a Professional. Only those that are actually suspended due to drug use will become public knowledge. Stallings did not fail a drug test - he turned himself in when he realized an anabolic agent a doctor prescribed for him was on the banned list. He said tour officials saw how the blood testing was administered and whether the actual testing affected performance.

The International Olympic Committee past year suggested the Tour replicated WADA's policy before the Olympic Games in Rio where golfers underwent blood tests. "The Olympics have done this for a long, long time and there are guys who participated in the Olympics who didn't have any issues with it", said Billy Hurley III, a member of the 16-member player advisory council.

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