Byeong Hun An, the 32-year-old South Korean professional golfer, has been suspended for three months after violating the PGA Tour Anti-Doping Policy. The Tour announced the suspension on Wednesday, stating that An tested positive for a prohibited substance found in a cough medicine available in his native South Korea.
According to the Tour, An has fully cooperated throughout the process and accepted the suspension. He will be eligible to return to play on December 1, 2023. In a statement posted on Instagram, An explained that while dealing with a head cold, his mother suggested he take a medication from South Korea that had helped her with similar symptoms.
“I took this medicine without checking its contents first, only to later find that it contained a substance that is prohibited under the PGA TOUR’s anti-doping program,” An said. “It was the only time I used this medication, and in no way did I take it to gain a competitive advantage.”
An expressed regret for not being more thorough in his decision-making and took full responsibility for his actions. He thanked the PGA Tour for supporting him during the process and looks forward to returning to competition in the new year.
An, who won the U.S. Amateur championship in 2009, is currently ranked 53rd in the Official World Golf Ranking and has earned $3,231,760 this season. During the 2022-23 PGA Tour season, he was 44th in the FedEx Cup standings with 12 top-25 finishes in 31 starts, including a runner-up finish at the Wyndham Championship and a third-place finish at the Genesis Scottish Open.
Anti-doping policies are in place in sports to ensure fair competition and protect athletes’ health. While unintentional violations like An’s can occur, it is crucial for athletes to exercise caution before taking any medications or substances that could potentially contain prohibited substances. The PGA Tour’s decision to suspend An reflects its commitment to maintaining the integrity of the sport.