London | Evans learns his fate
The ITF has finally revealed Dan Evan’s punishment for having tested positive with cocaine at the Barcelona Open last April. And they have been lenient on the British player by limiting his ban to just 12 months and back-dating it to start from the date he tested positive which means Evans can return to the Tour on 24 April 2018.
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 Dan Evans
The ban seems lenient as most pundits believed he would be hit with a similar two-year ban that was levied on Martina Hingis when she tested positive with cocaine.
Evans was quick to admit he was guilty during the Queen’s tournament last June when he said: “This is a very difficult day for me. I was notified a few days ago that I failed a drugs test in April where I tested positive for cocaine. It’s really important you know this was taken out of competition and the context was completely unrelated to tennis.”
It would seem that his explanation was accepted in principle by the ITF and was reflected in their final verdict.
Evans told officials that he had stored some cocaine in his washbag where also had some authorised medication and whilst he had discarded the cocaine, there was sufficient dust left to contaminate his medication which resulted in him being tested positive.
The amount of cocaine in his system was minimal and a doctor substantiated the fact that the amount was equivalent to being just contamination of some sort, which was accepted by the ITF.
Nonetheless in a statement issued by the governing body, he was still guilty of an offence.
“Evans cannot establish that he bears no fault or negligence for his violation because his conduct in taking cocaine and then storing it in his washbag, in the same pocket as his medication, was a departure from the rigorous standard of utmost caution required of all players,” it read.
“On the other hand, based on the circumstances of the inadvertent contamination, the ITF accepts that the player has established ‘no significant fault or negligence’ for his violation triggering a discretion to reduce the two-year period of ineligibility by up to 12 months.”
In response to his ban, Evans said via his agent: “Following the announcement made from the ITF, 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.”