Dan Evans cops massive ban over cocaine use

Dan Evans said he is "determined to return to the sport I love" after being handed a one-year ban following his positive test for cocaine.

 

The International Tennis Federation announced the length of Evans' suspension on Tuesday, nearly six months after he failed the test at the Barcelona Open in April.

The ban has been backdated, meaning Evans will be eligible to play again on April 24 next year.

"Following the announcement made from the ITF today, I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this difficult period," the 27-year-old said via his agent.

"I am determined to return to the sport I love and compete at the level I know I can in the not too distant future."

Evans was informed of the positive test in June and revealed the news at an emotional press conference.

He did not deny taking cocaine, telling the ITF, which oversees the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme, that he had done so on April 20.

The drug is only banned in competition and Evans denied taking it during the tournament, saying it had got into his system via permitted medication that he had stored in the same pocket of a washbag in which he had previously kept the cocaine.

Evans' expert, Dr Pascal Kintz, argued the very small amount of the drug present in Evans' test was consistent with inadvertent contamination, and that was accepted by the ITF.

That explanation, coupled with Evans' prompt acceptance that he had taken the drug, resulted in a more lenient ban that might have been expected.

"The ITF accepted Mr Evans' account of how the cocaine got into his system and that he bears No Significant Fault or Negligence for the violation," the governing body said in a statement on its website.

Evans, who was ranked 50th in the world in June when he admitted failing a doping test, reached his first ATP Tour final this year in Sydney and has played for Britain in the Davis Cup.

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