Pro golfer Mark Hensby, who was suspended for one year by the PGA Tour after he failed provide a drug testing sample, said Wednesday he made “an error in judgement” that “had nothing to do with taking a banned substance.”
Hensby, who won the 2004 John Deere Classic, issued a statement in which he details the events of Oct. 26 that let up to his ban.
“Call me stupid but don’t call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity it represents. And I would never compromise the values and qualities the game deserves.”
He writes that he opted not to take a urine test after his final round at the Sanderson Farms PGA Tour event in “a moment of anger and frustration” thinking “it was just time to retire from golf.”
He was prepared to take a blood test, he writes in a statement posted by Brian Wacker of Golf Digest, but had recently urinated and would not have been able to produce another urine sample for “at least a couple more hours.”
— Brian Wacker (@brianwacker1) 12 декабря 2017 г.
He hopes “people would understand the professional pain and turmoil that I have been experiencing for nearly a decade.”
Hensby, 46, will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018, and the Tour offered no further comment on his suspension after its announcement.
“I made a terrible decisions to not stay around that evening to take the urine test. However my emotions got the better of me. Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test.”
The Australian is currently ranked No. 1,623 in the Official World Golf Ranking and made just two PGA Tour starts in 2016-17, missing the cut in each event. (He also was disqualified from this fall’s Sanderson Farms Championship.)
He teed it up 14 times last season on the Web.com Tour, making five cuts.
But Hensby is a six-time winner as a pro. He has the one PGA Tour victory to go along with one on the European Tour at the 2005 Scandinavian Masters, one at the 1996 Illinois State Open and three, the last one in 2003 at the Henrico County Open.
He had a nice run in major championships in 2005, tying for fifth at the Masters, sharing third at the U.S. Open and tying for 15th at the British Open. He also was T-59 at the PGA Championship that year.
In 2006, Hensby was injured in a car accident. Two years later, he lost fully exempt status on then PGA Tour.
After yesterday’s announcement that @HensbyMark had failed a drug test comes his full disclosure why….
— Luke Elvy (@Luke_Elvy) 12 декабря 2017 г.
Hensby is the fourth player that the PGA Tour has publicly suspended for violating its anti-doping policy, joining Doug Barron, Bhavik Patel and Scott Stallings.