PGA Tour suspends Robert Garrigus for violating drug policy, testing positive for marijuana

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PACIFIC PALISADES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 14: Robert Garrigus hits a tee shot on the 12th hole during the first round of the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club on February 14, 2019 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)
The PGA Tour suspended Robert Garrigus for violating its substance abuse policy after he tested positive for marijuana. (Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

The PGA Tour suspended Robert Garrigus on Friday for violating its “conduct policy that applies to substances of abuse.”

Garrigus, according to the Associated Press, is the first player to be suspended on Tour for a “drug of abuse.” He announced on Twitter that he had a relapse with marijuana — an issue he has long spoken openly about.

While marijuana is legal in some form in 33 states, it is still not permitted on the PGA Tour. As of 2017, three substances are listed as “drugs of abuse” on the Tour’s anti-doping policy: Cannabinoids, narcotics and cocaine.

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“After a long period of sobriety, I had a relapse and subsequently failed a drug test for marijuana,” Garrigus said in a statement. “A drug, although legal in many states, is not permitted under the PGA TOUR’s anti-doping rules. I mention that it is legal in many states not as an excuse, but as a word of warning to many people who use or try marijuana. Legal doesn’t mean it isn’t addictive and legal doesn’t mean there aren’t potentially severe consequences.”

The 41-year-old has spoken openly about his battles with addiction with both marijuana and alcohol, and even checked himself into a 30-day program near San Diego in 2003, per the Associated Press. He even admitted to to smoking mid-round when he was on the Nationwide Tour — now the Tour — in 2002.

Garrigus has played in four events this year, most recently at the Puerto Rico Open last month, but has made the cut just once. He has one career win on Tour, at the 2010 Children’s Miracle Network Classic, and is currently the 450th-ranked player in the world. He won’t be eligible to return until after the Travelers Championship in June.

“I will use this time away from golf to be with my family and work on regaining my sobriety,” Garrigus said in the statement. “It doesn’t matter if you are one day, one week, or nine years clean; one misstep, one lapse in judgement can impact your life in monumental fashion ... I hope this new chapter in my life will now show people to never relax in their battle with addiction.”

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