First pro golfer receives drug ban

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Doug Barron has become the first professional golfer to be banned for taking a performance-enhancing drug.

The PGA Tour said Barron had been suspended for a year for violating its anti-doping policy, but didn't confirm which drug he had used.

The American has played four events on the Nationwide Tour, the second tier of golf in America, this season, without making a cut.

The 40-year-old issued a statement through the Tour on Monday in which he apologised and said he did not intend to gain an unfair advantage.

"I would like to apologise for any negative perception of the Tour or its players resulting from my suspension," Barron was quoted as saying by the Tour.

"I want my fellow Tour members and the fans to know that I did not intend to gain an unfair competitive advantage or enhance my performance while on Tour."

Journeyman pro Barron turned pro in 1992 and was a member of the PGA Tour from 1997-2001, in 2003 and from 2005-06, earning a career total of $2,724,280.