On the 23rd of June, Dan Evans made a declaration that took everyone by surprise: he had tested positive for cocaine.
The then British number two, 27, never denied the facts and accepted the provisional (and immediate) ban imposed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
This Tuesday, the ITF rendered its decision in the Brit’s case. Considering his admission to having taken cocaine, and his acceptance of the sentence, and because of mitigating circumstances, Evans has been retroactively suspended for a year, as of the 24th of April, which was the date of the incriminating test. He will thus be able to come back on the Tour in April of 2018.
The details of Evans’s ban
On the 24th of April, during the Barcelona Open, Dan Evans had a routine in-competition doping test. Two months later, it was announced that his sample had tested positive for cocaine. The Brit immediately admitted to it.
However, there are mitigating circumstances in his case, which are the reason why his ban will be of only a year. In this instance, Evans admitted having taken the drug while out of competition, four days before the test.
According to the ITF’s decision, “he then put the leftover cocaine first in his pocket and then in a pocket of his washbag, before discarding it the next day. In the same pocket of the washbag, he stored tablets of (permitted) medication. He took those tablets daily from 20 April 2017 to 24 April 2017, the date on which he provided his sample that later tested positive for cocaine and its metabolite.”
Considering that the sample contained a very minimal amount (1-3 mg) of the doping substance, and that the player had admitted to not only being guilty of taking cocaine (off competition), but also of inadvertently taking it afterwards, the ban is, consequently, reduced. Furthermore, it was his first doping offence.
Put together, those circumstances will make Dan Evans eligible to return exactly a year after the incriminating test. In this case, it is a just sentence by the ITF.