Golf rallies round Stallings after accidental doping violation

Sport360 staff 09:35 09/07/2015
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Integrity: Stallings.

American Scott Stallings, who was suspended by the PGA for three months for using banned substance, was praised for reporting himself by players who also questioned the logic of some aspects of the Tour’s anti-drug policy.

The 154th ranked Stallings reported himself to the Tour after realising a supplement he was prescribed by his doctor to combat chronic fatigue was prohibited.

“I discovered in February 2015 that I had inadvertently taken a supplement for the prior two months that was not permitted by the PGA Tour,” Stallings said in a statement.

“I did so on the recommendation of my physician due to chronic fatigue I had felt over a period of time, not in any way for performance enhancement.

“I immediately self-reported this fact to the PGA Tour, consistent with my values and with the long tradition of self-reporting all rules violations on or off the golf course.”

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Ryder Cup star Jimmy Walker said it was concerning that medication prescribed by a doctor is on the banned list, but added he’d be happy if the Tour used blood, rather than urine testing, for greater accuracy.

“If it’s approved by your doctor to take, I think you should be able to take it,” Walker said. “But I do think that he probably should have consulted the Tour.

“If I’m sick, we’ll call in and ask, is this okay to take before you take it? In that sense it’s his fault. But I don’t think that you should get in trouble for something that you need from a doctor.”

Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson praised Stallings for alerting the Tour to his situation and queried whether over-the-counter supplements should be prohibited.

“I give Scott a lot of credit for coming forth,” Mickelson said. “He’s not trying to hide anything. He made a mistake and he came forth and was very open and honest.

“But I don’t feel the right that every other citizen has to take certain things over-the-counter to help their own physical health should be taken away just because we play golf.

“He was, in my opinion, trying to help his overall health doing something that every other citizen in the country has the right to do and it was taken away from him because he played golf for a living and I don’t necessarily agree with that.” 

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