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Brad Fritsch banned 3 months for violating PGA Tour’s anti-doping policy

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Brad Fritsch, PGA Tour veteran, has been handed a three-month suspension for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy. The 40-year-old Canadian self-reported taking a weight-loss supplement that contained a banned ingredient.

Fritsch alerted the Tour to his violation in November, so his three-month ban is backdated to the 30th of that month. He’ll be eligible to return to competition February 28.

Interestingly, Fritsch didn’t play a competitive round while taking the banned substance, DHEA. He wrote candidly about his mistake in a Facebook post January 8th.

He discussed the program his friend Alex, a chiropractor and weight-loss specialist, put him on ahead of the new PGA Tour season.

“The majority of Alex’s program is low calorie, highly disciplined eating. You eat two meals per day (I did noon and 6pm), consisting of a small protein and whatever vegetables you want. Yes, I almost died in the first two weeks. If it sounds awful, that’s because it was. I tried to drink 120oz of water per day, and then took the supplements that every other program participant takes – a liquid multivitamin, even more vitamin D, a “body detox” solution, a probiotic, and a spray called BioSom.

‘“Hey, it’s not that spray that got Vijay in trouble, right?”’

“That was a text from November 30, from one of my brothers. I was telling him and my other brother what I was doing with the weight loss program. It felt like my heart sank into my stomach. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t checked all of the supplements against our Anti-Doping list. I immediately sent a text to Andy Levinson, head of the Tour’s Anti-Doping program.”

Unfortunately, we already know how this story ends. Fritsch continues

“That last supplement ended up containing a substance called DHEA, and it is indeed banned on our Anti-Doping list…I’m just so upset with myself that I didn’t think to question what was in the supplements. But I never did. And in the program rules, it stipulates that a self-report is the same as a positive test. I did know this when I sent the text to Andy Levinson – like I said above, I believe in the program. I’m a proud member of the PGA Tour and I don’t take that lightly. If there is any silver lining, it’s that I thankfully never played a competitive round during all of this…I just wish I had paid attention to the details. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t pay attention to the details.”

It’s standard fare for golf writers and talking heads to wax poetic about the virtue of golfers calling penalties on themselves and self reporting, but this is a glowing example. More than likely, no one would ever have known Fritsch took a banned substance that he didn’t even play golf while taking, yet he didn’t hesitate to investigate himself (too late, as it turns out unfortunately) and report.

Fortunately, Fritsch was able to find a silver lining in the present dark cloud.

“I don’t feel great about this situation, but I’ve had over a month to kind of process my feelings about it. I’m in a good place (and I’ve lost 28 pounds, so I’ve got that going for me). I’m not sure I’d feel exactly the same way if I had competed against my peers while using a banned substance, even if it was out of ignorance.”

Including Fritsch, five golfers have been suspended under the Tour’s 2008 anti-doping policy. Most recently, Mark Hensby earned a year-long suspension for failing to submit a sample.

You can read Fritsch’s full, thoughtful post below, which includes some strong takes about the Tour’s anti-doping policy.

It has been announced that I have been suspended by the PGA Tour for three months, retroactive to November 30, the day I…

Posted by Brad Fritsch on Monday, January 8, 2018

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. joe

    Jan 11, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    He only called it on himself b/c he must’ve known a test was upcoming. These guys aren’t that stupid to NOT know something that enhances your body/performance shouldn’t be put in your body before checking…der. Sorry Brad, not buying what you’re selling, and making yourself out to be some honorable athlete…

  2. Donny Johnston

    Jan 10, 2018 at 10:34 am

    Everyone knows Brad is a juicer. You don’t get a body like his from just diet and exercise. He was most likely on another cycle and made this story up.

  3. Mark

    Jan 10, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Can’t believe people think chiropractors are legitimate health care professionals. The entire field is snake oil quakery at best and in some cases extremely dangerous.

  4. Andrew

    Jan 9, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    Good man and what makes golf special: Having the marbles to call a penalty on oneself. Better than most these day. Would not see 1 in 1,000 trust fund brats do this.

  5. Golf Cheater

    Jan 9, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    He should have kept his mouth shut and there would have not been an issue.

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Lexi Thompson signs multi-year endorsement deal to play Bridgestone ball

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Lexi Thompson, who currently plays Bridgestone’s Tour B X ball, will now do so in an official capacity. The company announced today it inked the 22-year-old to a multi-year deal.

The eight-time LPGA Tour winner had been playing Bridgestone’s B330-S for the past two seasons.

“I’ve used Bridgestone for years and the new Tour B product is shockingly good,” said Thompson. “It gives me tremendous distance off the tee without sacrificing any performance around the green. What’s more, I feel confident hitting any type of shot the situation calls for.”

“When I’m testing a golf ball, I look for three things – distance, accuracy and feel,” said Thompson. “For me, the new Tour B delivered in spades. I’ve never played anything that has responded so positively to any situation the golf course throws at me.”

Bridgestone’s Tour B Series includes four models–X, XS, RX and RXS (each $44.99). The company leveraged data from more than three million consumer ball fittings, as well as third-party insights and Bridgestone’s own resources, to create the four-ball lineup.

RELATED: Bridgestone’s Tour B balls were designed with the player in mind

Bridgestone’s professional staff includes, among others, Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar, Fred Couples, and Bryson DeChambeau.

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Sergio Garcia WITB 2018 (with commentary from Sergio)

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This special-edition of Sergio Garcia’s WITB includes commentary about his clubs from a podcast he recently did with Callaway, Garcia’s new equipment sponsor. Below are the clubs he is using in Singapore this week.

Driver: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi KuroKage Dual Core 70TX
Sergio says: “This new driver feels really, really good. I love the ball flight. I can hit it both ways, left to right, or right to left. And I’ve been driving it quite well. So that gives me even more confidence.”

3 Wood: Callaway Rogue 3+ (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi KuroKage XT 80TX

5 Wood: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi KuroKage XT 80TX

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro 16 (3-4 iron), Callaway Apex MB 18 (5-9 iron)
Shafts: Nippon Modus 130x

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (48-10, 54-10 and 58-08)
Shafts: Nippon Modus 130x
Sergio says: “I loved the wedges right away. They feel so much better for me. I got a lot more spin and different ball trajectories. And because I get more spin, I can be more aggressive with my chipping.”

Putter: Odyssey Toulon Azalea

Golf Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft
Sergio says: “My golf ball feels really nice. It’s definitely much better around the greens for me. It was important for me to make sure I liked the golf ball (when I came to Callaway)… It’s very important to see and feel that you can work the ball, and flight the ball. And that’s obviously one of the reasons why I decided to come to Callaway.”

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Sergio’s switch to Callaway in our forums

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Wednesday’s Photos from the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge at the TPC Stadium Course at PGA West (7,113 yards, par 72) in La Quinta, California.

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The field this week is headlined by Jon Rahm, who’s currently ranked No. 3 in the Official World Golf Rankings after his second-place finish at the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions two weeks ago. Joining him in the field are notables John Daly, Brian Harman, last week’s Sony Open champion Patton Kizzire, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker and Bubba Watson.

Defending-champion Hudson Swafford notched his first career victory at the 2017 CareerBuilders Challenge, where he won by one stroke over Adam Hadwin. He’ll be back in the field this year to defend his title.

Check out our photos from the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge below!

Wednesday’s Galleries

Special Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the photos in our forums

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