Dustin Johnson has broken his silence after his extended absence from the PGA Tour, while insisting he does not have a cocaine problem.
Dustin Johnson has vowed to return to golf a more mature player, after denying he has had issues with cocaine use.
The 30-year-old - an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour - has spoken for the first time since taking an extended leave of absence from the game.
He withdrew from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio in July, citing the need to deal with "personal challenges", and has not played since.
"I am taking a leave of absence from professional golf, effective immediately," he said at the time.
That exit from the game came amid reports that he had been suspended by the PGA Tour for failing a third test for recreational drugs - two of which were allegedly for cocaine use.
Johnson denied those reports, while the Tour also stated that he had not been suspended.
And in an interview with Golf.com, Johnson has now insisted that while he has "issues", cocaine use was not among them.
"I did not have a problem," he said when asked about the subject. "It"s just something I"m not going to get into. I have issues. But that (cocaine) is not the issue."
Johnson is engaged to Ice Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky's daughter, Paulina, and the two are about to have their first child. After the baby is born, Johnson will return to the course.
He feels the experience has changed him.
"Over these past four or five months I"ve really grown up," he added. "I am starting to become the person I want my kids to look up to."