Golfer Dustin Johnson Tested Positive For Cocaine

By Shawn Dwyer 08/01/14

This week, Johnson pulled out of competition and suddenly announced a leave of absence. Now we know why.

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After withdrawing from the Bridgestone Invitational earlier in the week, golfer Dustin Johnson suddenly announced yesterday that he was taking a leave of absence to "seek professional help" for reasons that were then unknown. Johnson initially declined to reveal the reasons for his departure from the PGA Tour.

"I am taking a leave of absence from professional golf, effective immediately. I will use this time to seek professional help for personal challenges I have faced," Johnson said in a statement. "By committing the time and resources necessary to improve my mental health, physical well-being and emotional foundation, I am confident that I will be better equipped to fulfill my potential and become a consistent champion."

"I respectfully ask my fans, well-wishers and the media for privacy as I embark upon this mission of self-improvement," Johnson said.

But today, news broke via that Johnson is actually serving a six-month suspension after testing positive for cocaine—his third positive test since 2009. That year, Johnson came up dirty for marijuana, but received no punishment. 

In 2012, he tested positive for cocaine and was suspended for that violation, though the PGA's action was kept out of public view. At the time, it was believed that Johnson had missed 11 weeks of the tour due to an injured back. According to PGA drug-testing policy, the association is under no obligation for making public a golfer's positive test for recreational drugs.

The PGA Tour released a statement indicating that they looked forward to Johnson's return, but offered no further comment.

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.