Dan Evans: Great Britain Davis Cup player fails drugs test

‘I made a mistake’ – Evans admits failed drugs test
Wimbledon on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July
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British number three Dan Evans has announced he tested positive for cocaine in a drugs test taken in April.

The 27-year-old, who has played for Britain in the Davis Cup, learned of the failed test earlier this week and said he had “let a lot of people down”.

“I made a mistake and I must face up to it,” said the world number 50.

A player can be banned for up to four years for an anti-doping violation, according to International Tennis Federation (ITF) rules.

The ITF said Evans provided the positive sample at the Barcelona Open on 24 April and he will be provisionally suspended from 26 June.

“It’s really important you know this was taken out of competition and in a context completely unrelated to tennis,” said Evans, from Birmingham.

“I do not condone for one second to anyone that this is acceptable behaviour.

“I have let a lot of people down – my family, my coach, my team, sponsors, British Tennis and my fans. I can only deeply apologise from the bottom of my heart.

“This has been a sad and humbling experience.”

Dan Evans factfile
Born 23 May 1990, Birmingham
Turned pro 2006
Best Grand Slam performances Australian Open: QF (2016)
French Open: 1R (2017)
Wimbledon: 3R (2016)
US Open: 3R (2013) and (2016)
ATP Tour titles 0
ATP Tour finals 1 (Sydney 2017)
Career prize money £1,053,266
2017 prize money £319,132

Evans last played on 10 June at Surbiton, retiring with a calf injury before withdrawing from events in Nottingham, London and Eastbourne.

He was ranked 772nd in the world in April 2015 but had reached a career-high ranking of 41 in March this year.

He lost all three of his matches last month, going out in the first round at the French Open, Madrid Open and Rome Masters.

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), the governing body of British tennis, said it was “very disappointed” by the news.

“We absolutely condemn any form of drug-taking and will support the process which needs to take place,” said LTA performance director Simon Timson.

“We are in touch with Dan and we will offer appropriate guidance, support and education to him on how best to address the issues he now faces.”

How long will Evans be banned for?

Evans has accepted the finding and the ITF said the ban will begin on Monday, “pending determination of the case”.

“What is always key in these situations is whether the panel decide that the person has taken this drug intentionally or not,” said BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller.

Spaniard Jose-Manuel Roman Gomez was given a four-year ban after testing positive for cocaine in 2015, while French world number 30 Richard Gasquethad a two-year ban overturned in 2009.

An ITF panel accepted Gasquet’s claim that the substance was in his system after he kissed a woman who had taken cocaine in a nightclub.

Former world number one Martina Hingis was given a two-year ban in 2008 after testing positive for cocaine while competing at Wimbledon the previous year.

Pundits react to Evans’ failed drugs test

‘Evans has had chances’

John Lloyd, BBC Sport commentator and 1977 Australian Open finalist:

The bottom line is how many chances do you get?

He has had so many in his career where we have written him off, done things like not trained and done the things he needed to, got in trouble and then came back.

It looked like he had finally broken through that with some tremendous performances and he was a world-class player. Now this has happened.

At some stage it has to change. It is very sad.

Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent:

Dan Evans won’t be playing at Wimbledon and he can expect to serve a significant period out of the game.

He gave a deeply heartfelt apology but he is going to pay a very, very high price for that mistake.

Cocaine is on the banned list. It is classed as a stimulant and prohibited in competition.

Evans will have to prove that he didn’t know this was an anti-doping violation but that will be difficult based on the evidence we have so far.