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The PGA Tour has announced that Byeong Hun An has been suspended for three months after violating the organisation’s Anti-Doping Policy.
The 32-year-old, a former winner of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, tested positive for a substance prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that was contained in a cough medicine that is available over the counter in his native South Korea.
In a statement, the PGA Tour said that An has “cooperated fully” throughout the process and “accepted his suspension”.
The ban has been backdated to August 31, 2023, with An eligible to return to competition on December 1, 2023.
Taking to social media, An gave his version of events.
“In August, I was suffering from a head cold and cough,” he wrote. “As my symptoms worsened, my mother suggested I take a widely available medication from Korea that helped her through a similar ailment.
“I took this medicine without checking its contents first only to later find that it contained a substance that is prohibited under the PGA Tour’s anti-doping program.
“It was the only time I used this medication and in no way did I take it to gain a competitive advantage.
“I regret not being more thorough in my decision-making and take full responsibility for my actions.
“I’d like to thank the PGA Tour for supporting me during this process and look forward to returning to competition in the new year.”
Currently ranked 53rd on the OWGR, An finished 43rd on his most recent PGA Tour start at the BMW Championship – the second of the FedEx Cup Playoff events – in August.
He made $3,231,760 in the tour’s 2022/23 season, with a best finish of T2 at the Wyndham Championship, also in August.
The son of two table-tennis Olympic medalists, An made history in 2009 when, at the age of 17, he became the youngest-ever winner of the US Amateur Championship.
He continued his history-making streak in 2015 when, with his win at Wentworth, he became only the second player after Arnold Palmer to win both the US Amateur and the ‘British’ PGA Championship.
He made his Presidents Cup debut in 2019, going 1-2-2 at Royal Melbourne as a Tiger Woods-inspired USA fought back on the final day to win 16-14.
An is the first player to be banned by the PGA Tour for a breach of its Anti-Doping regulations since Robert Garrigus in 2019.
The American was randomly tested by the tour following the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am that year and was found to have elevated levels of THC, one of the active ingredients in marijuana.
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