Dustin Johnson said in an interview with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi that he has never failed a drug test and that his life is in a “better place” after taking a six-month leave of absence from the PGA Tour.
In the interview, posted on ESPN’s website on Tuesday night, Johnson said that many of his “personal challenges” came about from partying and drinking to excess, not cocaine, as has been reported by Golf.com.
• When asked by Rinaldi whether he was suspended by the PGA Tour for six months for a failed third drug test, as Golf.com reported, Johnson said: “Um, well, I decided to take a leave of absence. The Tour, they put out their own statement, and I’ve got the full support of the PGA Tour.”
• When asked about the reported three drug tests – for marijuana in 2009, for cocaine in 2012 and ’14 – Johnson denied that he was ever sidelined by the Tour: “Well, like everyone, I’m tested regularly by the Tour and, um, as far as that’s concerned, I mean, you know I haven’t failed anything,” he said.
• When pressed that he’s never failed anything, Johnson replied: “Um, no, I’m tested regularly by the Tour, and everyone else is, too.”
• When asked explicitly whether he has ever used cocaine, Johnson said: “Um, you know, there is a lot of speculation, and there is a lot of curiosity about that, but I’m not really here today to talk about that. I had some issues, and I’m still working on things. But (cocaine) is not one of them.”
The 30-year-old told SI.com earlier this week that he never entered into a rehab facility but instead hired a group of experts to help him better handle stress and tap into his immense potential.
Johnson and fiancée Paulina Gretzky welcomed their first child, a boy, on Monday. The eight-time PGA Tour winner is expected to return to competition either in two weeks at the Farmers Insurance Open or the following week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
“My life is great right now,” he said in the ESPN interview. “It’s been a tough road, but it’s been a good one. It’s been a good one because I’m in a better place.”