There had been much talk about the Pga Tour starting to strictly enforce their anti-doping policy against players. And the Tour is living up to that expectation with a stiff sentence for a recent violator.
Mark Hensby is a name you may recognize on the PGA TOUR as he has been a competitive player in the past. The Australian won the John Deere Classic back in 2004 and had great success in 2005 with two top five finishes in The Masters and the U.S. Open. Ever since, however, Hensby has been delegated to the Web.com Tour and is outside of the top 1,000 ranked players.
Because of that drop in the rankings and drop in success, Hensby must have felt the need for a boost, leading to his use of a banned substance. Either that or he was just lazy, as the PGA TOUR suspended Hensby for failing to submit a drug screening sample. And for his suspension, Hensby will be out of competitive golf for the next year.
Mark Hensby of Australia plays his shot from the fourth tee during…
Mark Hensby of Australia plays his shot from the fourth tee during the First Round of the Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club of Jackson on October 27, 2016 in Jackson, Mississippi. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
In response to the ban, Hensby says there is no one to blame but himself. “At the end of the day it’s my responsibility. I take full responsibility,” he told GolfChannel.com. He also followed up with his questions about submitting the sample. “Once I said, ‘Can I take it in the morning,’ [the Tour’s anti-doping official] said, ‘We can’t hold you here,’” Hensby recalled. “I just left.”
This is an extremely rare occurrence that should not be overlooked as Hensby became only the fourth player in the last decade to receive such a stiff sentence. The only other players to have a full year suspension from the PGA TOUR are Doug Barron, Bhavik Patel and Scott Stallings. And with this new suspension coming out, that number may rise.
While this is a terrible development for Hensby, hopefully, he will be able to bounce back from it. And with this decision in the books, be on the lookout for other possible suspensions on the horizon.
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