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3 month Tour ban for Saltman

It's probably the hardest thing in golf to report someone for cheating, it must be doubly so for professional golfers to accuse a fellow competitor, they know this is a colleague and friends livelihood at stake. The stigma that this accusation carries, will remain with that person for the rest of their playing career.

Elliot Saltman's fellow playing partners in the Russian event, Stuart Davies and Marcus Higley refused to sign his scorecard for continually replacing his ball incorrectly. As a golfer we all know people make genuine mistakes, but to continually mark your ball a centimeter out of its original position, I personally believe you would know what you were doing.

After a meeting with referee Gary Butler, Saltman was disqualified from the tournament. Saltman has been banned from tournament golf for three months, with an appeal to the tour board allowed within 28 days.

Banning any player and depriving them of their livelihood is a serious matter, but I would hate to see golf go down the route of most professional sports today. As Lee Westwood said yesterday at the HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi: "You don't see us jumping in the referee's face when something goes wrong and waving our fingers at him trying to get the other player on the other side of the fairway carded.

You don't see us missing a putt and diving. "I don't think there is a place for cheating in golf, or sport, for that matter," and I totally agree with the world number one. It's a disease we see plaguing professional sport and I feel the tour are right to come down on this hard.

No one player can be bigger than the game of golf, we can see where that leads to, FIFA are a laughing stock of world sport. I would hate to see the R&A, The European Tour and the USPGA tours held in the same regard.

See Iain Carters piece on the BBC here

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