Scott Stallings has been suspended three months for using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), a violation of the PGA Tour’s anti-doping policy. He’s the third player (Doug Barron, Bhavik Patel), but the first Tour winner, to be sanctioned for PEDs since the policy was introduced seven years ago.
But have you seen Scott Stallings? He’s not ripped. He’s not jacked. In fact, I would argue that, if anything, he’s fat. And that begs the question – what was Stallings thinking? Why would a Tour player use PEDs?
In a statement released Tuesday by the Tour, Stallings said he took a supplement to help him overcome chronic fatigue. He turned himself in when he realized that it was on the list of banned substances. Give credit to Stallings for taking ownership of his wrongdoing:
“I regret my inadvertent mistake in not doing my homework to know for sure what was on the list of permitted and non-permitted substances,” said Stallings. “I take responsibility and accept the penalty imposed by the PGA Tour.”
Stallings also said he had no intention of using it to enhance his performance on the golf course. No doubt it would aid in recovery. Let’s be honest – being a professional athlete is a privilege, not a right. I’ll tell you why a Tour player would use PEDs. While being a PGA Tour pro is arguably the best job in pro sports, it’s also the most stressful. If you’re not Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson, you’re starting over every year… from scratch. And that has to be exhausting. You never know where your next paycheck is coming from.
Stallings has three Tour wins, the most recent coming last year at Torrey Pines, and roughly $7.1 million in career earnings. No one is going to shed a tear over Stallings’ absence, but put yourself in his spikes. You can sort of understand why he took the supplement. He told Golf Channel is was DHEA, which is offered over the counter.
The 30-year-old Stallings is out for the rest of the season and won’t be eligible to return until October 7th, the week of the President’s Cup in South Korea. The 2015-2016 season open the following week at the Frys.com Open in Napa, California.
Oh, and one more thing…
Here comes a low-hanging fruit argument: Rory McIlroy is an idiot. McIlroy is now officially out of next week’s Open Championship at St. Andrews after rupturing a ligament in his left ankle while playing soccer over the weekend.
It’s the first time since Ben Hogan in 1954, a span of 61 years, that the defending champion will not be playing.
Nice job Rors. You’re a golfer, not a soccer player!
And while McIlroy is technically his own boss, and his injury is really hurting no one but himself, it comes as a huge blow to a sport that so desperately needs the excitement right now. That’s why it’s irresponsible.
Instead, golf fans are getting robbed of the head-to-head back-and-forth between McIlroy and Jordan Speith, something we were all really looking forward to. Spieth is halfway to the Grand Slam. Who’s going to stop him now?