Saltman to return after suspension

2013 08 Saltman 2

Scot set to resume European Tour career after ‘cheating’ ban

Scotland's Elliot Saltman makes his return to the European Tour this week after completing a three-month ban for alleged cheating.

The 29-year-old will tee it up in the Spanish Open near Barcelona having been suspended by the tour in January for a serious breach of the rules during last year's Russian Challenge Cup on the Challenge Tour.

Saltman's playing partners in that particular event - Stuart Davis and Marcus Higley - refused to sign his card upon the completion of their round because of discrepancies they claimed to have witnessed on several different occasions in the way the Scot had marked his ball.

A subsequent disciplinary hearing was convened by the European Tour's Tournament Committee in Abu Dhabi in January, where the charges against Saltman were upheld and he was subsequently banned from European Tour competition for three months.

Whilst vehemently denying any wrong-doing - he even took a polygraph test which supported his claims of innocence - Saltman chose not to appeal the ban and has, resultantly, been on the sidelines ever since.

Now, though, with his ban having been served, the Scot, who is in his rookie season, is free to make his return, beginning this week in the Spanish Open.

"I know there is a lot of sympathy for me amongst the players," Saltman told the BBC. "I am sure that a few will give me a frosty reception. That will be difficult, but I will just have to live with it.

"I wish to emphasise again that I do not cheat, have never cheated and do not believe I have done anything wrong.

"It has been a terrible few months. To have people who don't know me and who know nothing about me go out in the media and question my honesty is really hurtful.

"To be accused of being a cheat is a terrible stigma and sadly is one that I will now almost certainly have to carry for the rest of my life."

As it happens, Saltman, whose brother Lloyd is also in his rookie season on the European Tour, missed just one tournament during his suspension, the Sicilian Open being the only event for which he would have been eligible.

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