On Thursday, Dustin Johnson announced that he was taking leave from the PGA Tour for "personal challenges" for which he intended to seek "professional help." On Friday, a Golf.com report indicated that those "personal challenges" were in fact a suspension from the PGA Tour for drug use. Moreover, this marks at least the second time Johnson has been suspended for drug violations. [UPDATE: The PGA Tour has denied that it is a suspension. See below.]
According to Golf.com's source, Johnson failed drug tests three separate times: in 2009 for marijuana, in 2012 for cocaine, and earlier this year again for cocaine. The Tour does not generally disclose the penalties it levies against players.
Johnson will miss the rest of the year, including the PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup, and the Tour Championship. He previously missed 11 weeks in early 2012, and said at the time that he had injured himself lifting a Jet Ski. However, according to Golf.com, that was in truth a suspension for the failed cocaine test.
Johnson's high-water mark, career-wise, remains the majors period of 2010-2011, when he was in the lead or in contention at three different majors. However, he fell short on Sunday in all three of those, and remains in the "best never to win a major" classification.
Update, 7:30 PM ET — The PGA Tour released a statement saying that Dustin Johnson is taking a leave of absence "and is not under a suspension from the PGA Tour."
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