Tiger Woods on Wednesday said it was unfortunate that US PGA Tour player Doug Barron had tested positive for drugs, but applauded the policy that caught him.
Barron, an American with only one PGA start in three years, was given a one-year ban on Monday by the US PGA Tour as golf's proud reputation as a drug-free sport was tarnished.
It was the sport's first suspension for performance-enhancing substances.
The PGA, which instituted its anti-doping policy last July, imposed the penalty immediately without comment other than announcing the punishment.
"I just heard about it today," said Woods, who is in Shanghai for the WGC-HSBC Champions.
"Unfortunate, but's that's also one of the reasons why we have the policy, to make sure that no one does anything that's improper for the game of golf, and it's great that we have the policy in place."
The exact banned substance Barron was found to have taken was not revealed.
"The whole idea is to keep our sport clean," Woods added.
"That's the whole idea and that's why we created the policy, and it's been executed and unfortunately one player didn't obey the policy."
The best career finish for Barron in a PGA event was third in the 2005 Byron Nelson Championship. He played 24 events that year and 28 in 2006.
"I would like to apologize for any negative perception of the tour or its players resulting from my suspension," Barron said in a statement released by the PGA.
"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."