The International Tennis Federation has announced that British tennis player Dan Evans has been banned for a year after testing positive for cocaine in April.
Evans was provisionally suspended on June 26th after he failed the drug test in April at the Barcelona Open. At an emotional press conference the player said that he took the substance out of competition and for reasons “completely unrelated” to the sport.
After the ban was announced Evans released a statement saying, “Following the announcement made from the ITF today I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this difficult period. 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.’”
The ITF said that it accepted that “inadvertent contamination” was the reason for Evans’ positive test and as a result backdated his ban. This means that he will be able to play again on April 24 next year.
The ITF also released a statement which said, “On 16 June 2017, Mr. Evans was charged with an anti-doping rule violation under article 2.1 of the programme (presence of a prohibited substance in a player’s sample), and was provisionally suspended with effect from 26 June 2017. Mr. Evans promptly admitted his violation. 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.”
Evans told the ITF panel that he had used cocaine when not competing, four days before the drugs test. He then placed the drug in a washbag where he also kept an approved medication that he was taking during the Barcelona tournament.
The ITF accepted that either Evans’ fingers or medication were contaminated by residue from the drug. He will also be forfeiting £91,400 of prize money and ranking points resulting from events played from April through June.