Elliot Saltman says he will not appeal his three-month ban from the European Tour for marking his ball incorrectly, but reiterated on Monday that he did not cheat.
The Scottish golfer was found by the tour to have “committed a serious breach” of the rules during the first round of the Russian Challenge Cup in September last year. His two playing partners both asserted that he didn’t replace his ball correctly on a number of occasions.
Elliot Saltman was banished from the European Tour for three months after being found to have "committed a serious breach" of the rules during the 2010 Russian Challenge Cup.
Saltman said in a statement that his legal team warned him an appeal was unlikely to be successful “given the current procedures followed by the European Tour that restrict their ability to proactively and fully put his case.”
But Saltman, who claims to have passed a lie-detector test, added that “I wish to emphasize again that I do not cheat, have never cheated and do not believe I have done anything wrong.
"I want to get back to playing as quickly as I can because playing is the best way to show people that I am not a cheat,” he said. "It has been a terrible few months. I have worked all my life to be a professional golfer and I love the game. To get my tour card and then have this happen is unimaginable.
"To have people who don't know me and who know nothing about me go out in the media and question my honesty is really hurtful,” he stressed. "To be accused of being a cheat is a terrible stigma and sadly is one that I will now almost certainly have to carry for the rest of my life. But I am a golfer and I just want to get back out there and play.
"I know there is a lot of sympathy for me amongst the players as well, although I am sure that a few will give me a frosty reception,” he said. "That will be difficult, but I will just have to live with it."
Saltman has already played a tournament since the ban was imposed. That was on the Hi5 Pro Tour in Spain and he finished fourth. The winner was his brother Lloyd, also a European Tour member.
Saltman is eligible to play on the European and Challenge Tours again in mid-April at the Volvo China Open.