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PGA Tour denies Johnson was suspended

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Updated: 8/01 5:07 pm

(SportsNetwork.com) - The PGA Tour denied Friday that Dustin Johnson has been suspended, this after an online report earlier in the day said the golfer was banned for six months after failing a drug test for a third time.

"With regard to media reports that Dustin Johnson has been suspended by the PGA Tour, this is to clarify that Mr. Johnson has taken a voluntary leave of absence and is not under a suspension from the PGA Tour," the tour said in a statement.

Golf.com reported that Johnson has failed three drug tests, one for marijuana in 2009 and two for cocaine -- first in 2012 and then earlier this year. The latter caused him to be suspended for six months, according to the report.

Johnson said in a statement released Thursday that he was "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. "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."

In 2012, Johnson missed the Masters and was out for nearly three months. At the time, it was announced he injured his back while lifting a jet ski. Golf.com cited a source as saying Johnson was serving a suspension for a failed drug test.

The PGA Tour, which does not announce suspensions, said Thursday, "We have nothing to add to Dustin's statement. But wish him well and look forward to his return to the PGA Tour in the future."

Johnson, 30, withdrew from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational earlier this week. The PGA of America announced he will not take part in next week's PGA Championship or the Ryder Cup in late September.

Johnson is fifth on the United States Ryder Cup points list. His absence means the player ranked 10th on the points list as of Monday, Aug. 11, will make the team automatically.

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