Dan Evans has been handed a one-year ban by the ITF – back-dated to April – following his positive test for cocaine earlier this season.
The Brit will be eligible to return to competition in April 2018 and will look to resume a career that was flourishing before being halted.
“Following the announcement made from the ITF today, I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this difficult period,” Evans 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 reached the final of the Sydney International in January and peaked at world No.41 in March before everything unravelled.
He admitted to taking the drug – which is only banned during competition – but stressed that this occurred out of competition.
According to the case notes, Evans then put the remaining cocaine he did not ingest into his pocket and then a pocket of his washbag, where some permitted medication he was taking from 20-24 April was already stored.
It was argued that it was via this medication that the cocaine entered his system while he was competing at the Barcelona Open, which began on 24 April.
His expert, Dr Pascal Kintz, argued the small amount of cocaine detected in Evans’ system reflected the fact that he’d unknowingly ingested it during competition and was “consistent instead with inadvertent contamination”.
The ITF accepted this explanation, and also took into consideration his prompt admission he’d taken the drug.
“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 reasonable outcomes. Therefore, a period of ineligibility of twelve months is imposed,” the ITF said.
“Mr Evans is granted credit for his prompt admission, such that his one-year period of ineligibility will begin to run from 24 April 2017 (the date of his sample collection), and will expire at midnight on 23 April 2018.”
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