Scott Stallings has been suspended for three months for violating the PGA Tour’s anti-doping policy, making him the third player to be sanctioned for performance-enhancing drugs since the policy was introduced to golf seven years ago.
Stallings said in a statement released Tuesday by the PGA Tour that he took a supplement to help with chronic fatigue and turned himself in when he realized in February that it was on the list of banned substances.
“I regret my inadvertent mistake in not doing my homework to know for sure what was on the list of permitted and non-permitted substances,” Stallings said. “I take responsibility and accept the penalty imposed by the PGA Tour.”
The suspension means the 30-year-old Stalling is out for the rest of the season. He would not be eligible to return until Oct. 7, the week of the Presidents Cup in South Korea. The 2015-16 season opens the following week at the Frys.com Open.
Doug Barron, who had not had a full PGA Tour card in three years, was suspended for one year in October 2009 for taking a substance to cope with low testosterone. His lawsuit against the tour was settled and he was granted a therapeutic use exemption the following year.
In January, Bhavik Patel on the Web.com Tour was suspended for taking a banned substance. Patel said he had a lapse in judgment.
Stallings is the first PGA Tour winner to be suspended. He has won three times in five years, most recently in 2014 at Torrey Pines. He lost in a four-man playoff at Torrey Pines this year, and then missed seven cuts in his next 12 events. He was at No. 101 in the FedEx Cup and No. 154 in the world ranking.
Stalling said his doctor recommended the supplement – he told Golf Channel it was DHEA, which is offered over the counter – that he took in December and January for chronic fatigue and “not in any way for performance enhancement.”
He said he reported his violation as soon as he realized it was on the list of banned substances.
Under its policy, the tour is required only to confirm the suspension and for how long. The announcement that he was suspended was about five months after Stallings said he informed the tour of his violation.