PGA Tour to begin blood testing following anti-doping revisions


The PGA Tour will start blood testing players from next season as it toughens its stance on doping.

Blood testing has been introduced to boost chances of discovering the presence of certain substances - particularly human growth hormone (HGH) - in an athlete's system, though urine testing will remain "the predominant method".

The Tour also plans to marry up its list of prohibited substances with that of the World Anti-Doping Agency and publicly report violations and suspensions related to the use of recreational drugs, adding to their existing protocols surrounding performance-enhancing substance use.

"While we are extremely pleased with the implementation and results of the PGA Tour Anti-Doping Program to date, we believe that these changes to our program are prudent in that they further our objectives of protecting the well-being of our members and better substantiate the integrity of golf as a clean sport," said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.

An education programme will be provided to ensure all players understand the new procedures and are aware of outlawed drugs ahead of the 2017-18 season.

Golf has come under fire for a perceived lax approach to anti-doping, with Rory McIlroy stating last July he could "get away with" using HGH.

McIlroy's comments came against a backdrop of heightened concerns surrounding performance-enhancing drugs in the build-up to the sport's return to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.