Patel banned one year by PGA Tour for doping
(Reuters) - Little-known American golfer Bhavik Patel has been banned by the PGA Tour for one year after violating its anti-doping policy on the use of performance-enhancing substances, the PGA Tour said on Wednesday.
Patel, who competed on the lower-tier Web.com Tour in 2013 and 2014, accepted a provisional suspension last year and will be eligible to return to competition on Oct. 7.
"In an effort to overcome an injury, I made a lapse of judgment," Patel, a 24-year-old from Bakersfield in California who turned professional in 2012, said in a statement.
"I regret my decision but have learned from the experience and look forward to returning to competition."
Patel, who has not competed on the Web.com Tour since playing in 12 events between February and July last year, is only the second player to be suspended by the PGA Tour for a violation since its anti-doping program was launched in 2008.
American journeyman Doug Barron was banned for a year in November 2009 for taking a performance-enhancing drug.
Matt Every was suspended by the PGA Tour for three months during his rookie season in 2010, but that was for conduct unbecoming a professional after he and two others were arrested on misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession in Iowa.
The charges were later dropped but the PGA Tour suspension remained in place.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)
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