Brad Fritsch has two professional wins (one each on Web.com and Canadian Tours) since turning pro in 2000. That classifies as a journeyman player (yes, I know they are all good compared to us).
He recently became another of the Tour’s under-the-radar-lot to be suspended for a PED. But you have to give it up to him for posting an honest explanation on his Facebook page. As per the norm, the illegal use appears to be one of ignorance rather than outright premeditating cheating.
It has been announced that I have been suspended by the PGA Tour for three months, retroactive to November 30, the day I reported the possible use of a banned substance to the Tour. I want to get my story out there.
“Alright. We start Monday.”
That was a text I sent to my good friend Alex on Saturday Nov. 11, the same day I had failed to advance at Second Stage of the Web.com Tour Q-School. Alex is a chiropractor, and he operates a really successful weight loss program out of his office as well. I had seen his commercials that run during the daytime soap operas (my WIFE watches General Hospital, not me; promise), advertising “lose a pound of fat per day.” My wife had done the program once before and lost 25 pounds. It seemed like the perfect time to, finally, lose some weight – I had turned 40 two days prior; I was pretty much the heaviest I’d ever been (242 pounds); and my kids were getting really fast. Plus, it looked like I would have a good two months off. I would lose the weight and simultaneously adapt my golf swing throughout the program with my instructor.
The majority of Alex’s program is low calorie, highly disciplined eating. You eat two meals per day (I did noon and 6pm), consisting of a small protein and whatever vegetables you want. Yes, I almost died in the first two weeks. If it sounds awful, that’s because it was. I tried to drink 120oz of water per day, and then took the supplements that every other program participant takes – a liquid multivitamin, even more vitamin D, a “body detox” solution, a probiotic, and a spray called BioSom.
“Hey, it’s not that spray that got Vijay in trouble, right?”
That was a text from November 30, from one of my brothers. I was telling him and my other brother what I was doing with the weight loss program. It felt like my heart sank into my stomach. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t checked all of the supplements against our Anti-Doping list. I immediately sent a text to Andy Levinson, head of the Tour’s Anti-Doping program.
I should give some background on my feelings about the Tour’s Anti-Doping program, because it has a lot to do with how this has come to this point. I’ve been a huge advocate in expanding its transparency, both in meetings for the Web(.com) and PGA Tour and also in private conversations with multiple PGA Tour employees. I like the truth, and I hate rumor and innuendo. I’ve been adamant that we should publicize every offender, no matter the offense. Truthfully, I was mainly thinking of recreational testing when I formulated my opinion, and never for one second considered I would one day be a part of a potential “performance enhancing” violation. The only thing I would ever test positive for is excessive Chick Fil A.
And so it was with my view of the Anti Doping program in mind that I texted Andy Levinson that day. Truthfully, it was 10% my assumption that everything was fine; however, it wasn’t fine. That last supplement ended up containing a substance called DHEA, and it is indeed banned on our Anti-Doping list. But 90% is my dislike of hypocrisy. How could I sit there all those times and say “if it happens, it’s the truth, and if it’s the truth, get it out there,” and when it was my turn, just lie about it?
I couldn’t. It’s not who I am. I believe in the program and if I’m to be suspended, then so be it. It is my own fault that I’m in this position.
I just wish I had paid attention to the details. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t pay attention to the details.