User Menu

Dan Evans banned for a year after testing positive for cocaine

British tennis player failed the drugs test at the Barcelona Open in April

British tennis player Dan Evans has been banned for one year following his positive test for cocaine in April, the International Tennis Federation has announced. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

The British tennis player Dan Evans has been banned for one year following his positive test for cocaine in April, the International Tennis Federation has announced.

The suspension has been backdated to the time of the 27-year-old’s failed test, which means Evans could return to action on April 24th 2018.

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

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 his washbag in which he had previously kept the cocaine.

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

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

The ITF decision read: “Mr 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 under the TADP.

“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 all of the circumstances of this case, including the time and expenses saved by reaching an agreed outcome rather than having a disputed hearing, the ITF accepts that a 12-month reduction is within the range of reasonable outcomes.”