Dustin Johnson announced on Thursday that he is taking a leave of absence from golf to sort out some personal issues. Part of that is true, but the 30-year-old left out the part about him failing a drug test and being suspended.
According to Golf.com, Johnson is serving a six-month suspension for testing positive for cocaine. He has reportedly failed three drug tests during his time on the PGA Tour — one in 2009 for marijuana, one for cocaine in 2012 and now this.
Under the PGA Tour’s anti-doping policy, drug violations involving any substance deemed to be performance-enhancing are made public. Violations involving recreational drugs are not, which is why Johnson’s failed test in 2012 remained under wraps. As we explained previously, Johnson has denied that he was suspended in 2012 and always maintained that he chose to take time off for injury.
“I will use this time to seek professional help for personal challenges I have faced,” Johnson said in a statement on Thursday. “By committing the time and resources necessary to improve my mental health, physical well-being and emotional foundation, I am confident that I will be better equipped to fulfill my potential and become a consistent champion.”
The PGA Tour followed with a statement wishing Johnson well and had no comment when asked directly about his failed drug tests and suspensions.
Johnson, one of the longest hitters on the Tour, was having one of the best seasons of his professional career. He finished 4th at the US Open and 12th at the Open Championship and had seven top-10 finishes overall. He will now miss the PGA Championship and the FedEx Cup playoffs in addition to the Ryder Cup in September.
As most of you know, Johnson is engaged to Paulina Gretzky. You can see some photos of the seemingly happy couple here.