Brad Fritsch has become the second golfer in the space of a month to fall foul of the PGA Tour’s anti-doping policy.
The 40-year-old, who has 71 career starts on the PGA Tour, self-reported to the tour that he had been taking a banned substance as part of a new diet programme.
"Mr Fritsch self-reported this information after discovering that an ingredient in a supplement that he was taking was on the prohibited list," read a statement from the PGA Tour, which banned Fritsch for three months dating back to when he reported the usage on November 30.
The Canadian, who won on the Web.com Tour in 2016, then released a lengthy statement himself on his Facebook page, where he said he was ‘embarrassed’ by what had happened, with the banned substance called DHEA found in a spray called BioSom.
“I’m just so upset with myself that I didn’t think to question what was in the supplements,” said Fritsch. “But I never did. And in the programme rules, it stipulates that a self-report is the same as a positive test.
“I did know this when I sent the text to Andy Levinson. I believe in the programme. I’m a proud member of the PGA Tour and I don’t take that lightly. If there is any silver lining, it’s that I thankfully never played a competitive round during all of this.
“I don’t feel great about this situation, but I’ve had over a month to kind of process my feelings about it. I’m in a good place (and I’ve lost 28 pounds, so I’ve got that going for me). I’m not sure I’d feel exactly the same way if I had competed against my peers while using a banned substance, even if it was out of ignorance.
“I just wish I had paid attention to the details. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t pay attention to the details.”
Check out the full statement below.
Fritsch was subsequently praised on Twitter for the integrity he showed in texting the PGA Tour's Andy Levinson to own up to his mistake.
To err is human. To own it is honourable. To learn from it is wisdom. Much success to you upon your return to the tour.— Matt Muirhead (@MJMuirhead) January 8, 2018
Not only did you show great discipline in sticking to the plan and taking off the weight you proved your character to be rock solid and the type of person other professional athletes should emulate. Hope to see you back at it soon.— Russ McD (@rustymcruss) January 8, 2018
What a stand up guy texting the violation on himself knowing the results. Too many would have hid the facts. Sorry about the suspension but you earned a fan today for showing what should be done.— Gabe Beronja (@002gb) January 8, 2018
Just last month, Australian golfer Mark Hensby was banned for one year after failing to provide a sample at the 2017 Sanderson Farms Championship.