Mark Hensby explains circumstances around Tour suspension: ‘Call me stupid, but don’t call me a cheater’

December 11, 2017

UPDATE: Mark Hensby released a statement on Tuesday explaining the circumstances behind his suspension.

“Call me stupid, but don’t call me a cheater,” he wrote in a message released by Brian Wacker, which you can read below.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, the PGA Tour announced the suspension of Australian golfer Mark Hensby for failing to provide a drug testing sample.

The statement read: “The PGA TOUR announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the TOUR Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.”

Hensby is currently ranked No. 1623 in the world. The 46-year-old pro played mostly on the tour in 2017 and missed the cut in each of his two PGA Tour starts. Hensby has earned over $6.3 million over the course of his career and earned his lone Tour victory at the 2004 John Deere Classic.

Hensby’s most recent Tour appearance came in October at the Sanderson Farms Championship. He shot 78 in the first round on October 25th and then DQ’ed himself, tweeting that he’d “called it a day.” The second round lines up with the date he failed to provide a sample.

The PGA Tour’s statement concluded that it would have no further comment on the suspension.

Until this season, disciplinary matters on Tour were considered “Conduct Unbecoming a Professional” and were handled confidentially. The Tour’s statement on Hornsby marks a shift to the its new policy, which is designed to increase transparency. In a statement in June, Commissioner Jay Monahan released new information about the ways in which suspensions would be reported. After a violation occurs, the statement read, “the TOUR will issue a statement containing the name of the player, the fact that a violation for either a performance enhancing substance or a drug of abuse has occurred and the length of the suspension.”

The updates to the drug policy stem in part from a desire to comply with World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) guidelines with golf’s return to the Olympics. The more stringent testing includes blood testing and whereabouts (at home) testing.