Back in the fall, I totally missed the story of a little known former Tour player, Doug Barron, who was given a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour. Barron was the first person to violate the Tour’s anti-doping policy. Barron hasn’t played on the PGA Tour in three years. The ban kept him from participating in Q School last fall.
In response, Barron signed up for the eGolf Professional Tour last week. eGolf is a mini-tour based out of North Carolina. The leading money winner made $140,000 last year.
Barron tested positive for testosterone and propranolol, saying a doctor gave him approval to use the drugs for health reasons. He’s currently appealing the suspension.
The story isn’t that interesting, really. I know…so why post it on my blog? I think it raises a greater question. How prominent are steroids and performance-enhancing drugs in golf?
Look, golfers don’t deal with ongoing injury problems like baseball and football players. But if a quick pill can keep an ailing knee or a painful back from being so bothersome, or speed up the recovery process, then will pro golfers take the bait? And, if so, is the doping policy going to be effective enough to stop them?
I honestly don’t think a lot of golfers are doping. But we’ve got a whole new generation of kids coming up who watched one pro athlete after another get suspended or make the news for using steroids. Let’s hope they haven’t bought in.