Beginning in October when the 2017-18 season starts, the PGA Tour will begin blood testing as part of its revised anti-doping program.
The Tour also is updating its list of banned substances to include those currently forbidden by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Further, any suspensions of players abusing any banned substance will be announced publicly for the first time.
“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,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement released Tuesday.
Kevin Kisner, who won the Dean & DeLuca Invitational at Colonial in May, said it was inevitable that the Tour, which began drug testing in 2008, added blood testing.
“If we’re going to test, we might as well do it the most efficient way. And if urine can’t detect for all the drugs they want to test for, and blood is another option, we should do it,” Kisner said Tuesday. “I don’t think anyone will be thrilled about giving blood during golf tournaments. Hopefully it will be done earlier in the week. Testing becomes annoying when you play late on Thursday and early Friday, and you’re out there late knowing you have to get up early.”
Similar to how tests are administered in the Olympics, blood will be drawn from a player’s arm. Urine testing will still account for the vast majority of tests administered by the Tour, and while urine testing can detect most banned substances, it cannot detect human growth hormone.
“If you’re going to do drug testing out here you might as well do drug testing for everything and the big elephant in the room the past few years has been HGH,” eight-time Tour winner Brandt Snedeker said.
Snedeker has long been against drug testing, saying it’s a waste of time, money and energy in a game built on honor and integrity. But he understands golf’s return to the Olympics necessitated the action.