UPDATE: Dustin Johnson has reportedly been suspended for six months for testing positive for cocaine. Full story here.
Dustin Johnson announced on Thursday that he is taking a leave of absence from golf. The 30-year-old said he is seeking professional help to deal with some personal issues but did not get into specifics.
“I am taking a leave of absence from professional golf, effective immediately,” Johnson said, via USA Today Sports. “I will use this time to seek professional help for personal challenges I have faced. 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.
“I respectfully ask my fans, well-wishers and the media for privacy as I embark upon this mission of self-improvement.”
Last year, Vijay Singh filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour after he was suspended for violating the tour’s anti-doping program. Singh felt that he was being targeted after several players had violated the same policy but were only told by the PGA Tour to stop using certain substances.
Singh’s lawyers requested any information related to a “possible or actual violation of the drug program” by five golfers — Doug Barron, Mark Calcavecchia, Scott Verplank, Matt Every and Johnson. Barron, Calcavecchia and Every all had known violations, but it is unclear why Singh’s lawyers included Verplank and Johnson.
Johnson later dismissed Singh’s probe in an interview with the Golf Channel, saying he doesn’t know why Singh would single him out and that there is “nothing there.” He also said he has never been reprimanded by the PGA Tour for any drug-related violation.
Under the Tour’s anti-doping policy, drug violations involving anything deemed to be a performance-enhancing substance are made public. Violations that have to do with recreational drugs are not.Google+