“For that reason, urine will be the predominant method of testing,” he said.
Under the revised policy, the Tour is adding to its banned list three categories of substances that the antidoping agency already prohibits — asthma medications, allergy and anti-inflammatory medications, and pseudoephedrine over a certain threshold.
He said the process for therapeutic use exemptions involving some of those additional substances would be adjusted to make the response time quicker.
In a slight move toward more transparency, the Tour will start reporting suspensions for substance abuse. Under the current policy, the Tour is required to announce when a player has been suspended only for performance-enhancing drugs. Recreational drugs fell under the Tour’s private “conduct unbecoming a professional” disciplinary policy.
But if a player tests positive for those types of drugs, it will not be reported unless the player is suspended.
“We believe that these changes to our program are prudent in that they further our objectives of protecting the well-being of our members and better substantiate the integrity of golf as a clean sport,” Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour’s commissioner, said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Tour’s antidoping policy began in June 2008.
In nine years, only three players have been suspended for performance-enhancing drugs — Doug Barron, Bhavik Patel and Scott Stallings. Stallings never failed a drug test; rather, he became aware that the anabolic agent DHEA that a doctor advised him to take was on the banned list and turned himself in. He has said he was tested while taking DHEA and never failed a test.
Levinson said the Tour was encouraged to add blood testing after the Olympics last summer in Rio de Janeiro, where golf was added to the program for the first time in more than a century. He said Tour officials saw how the blood testing was administered and whether the actual testing affected…