‘I made a mistake’ – Evans admits failed drugs test

Former world number 41 Dan Evans is set to return from a one-year drugs ban as a wildcard entrant into the qualifying draw at the Glasgow Trophy on 28 April.

The 27-year-old, who tested positive for cocaine during the Barcelona Open last year, is eligible to return on 24 April after passing “agreed checks” by the Lawn Tennis Association.

He said: “I have learned a lot about myself in my time away from the game, a sport that I love very dearly.”

Evans added he was “grateful”.

Under the terms of his suspension, he was allowed to access LTA facilities and support from the end of February.

LTA performance director Simon Timson said their support “will be entirely dependent on a non-negotiable commitment to ongoing monitoring”.

He added: “The LTA condemns any form of doping, which has no place in our sport.

“We have been having regular contact with Dan and he has shown genuine commitment to getting his tennis career back on track.

“He has passed our agreed checks over the last six weeks and it is on this basis we have agreed to provide him with a place in the qualifying tournament for the upcoming ATP Challenger event in Scotstoun from 28 April.”

Evans thanked everyone who had supported him during his ban.

“I am now committed to training hard, resuming my career and getting back to where I was, although appreciate this will take time,” he said.

“If there is a lesson to be learned here it’s that it is every athlete’s responsibility for what they put into their bodies.”

Prior to his doping ban Evans reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and a highest career ranking of 41 in 2017

‘Evans may yet contribute to Davis Cup cause’ – analysis

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

The LTA says Dan Evans has kept his side of the bargain in the six weeks since he returned to full training – and has therefore earned a helping hand.

Evans currently stands in 994th place in the ATP rankings – France’s Yannick Jankovits, at 343 in the world, was the last direct entrant into the main draw when the list was released last week.

No-one should be penalised indefinitely for failing a drugs test, but I take the view that invitations to tournaments are inappropriate when players return in these circumstances.

The LTA, though, set a precedent when they offered the returning Maria Sharapova a wildcard into the main draw of last June’s grass-court event in Birmingham.

While that decision was a commercial one, this is more about offering support and encouragement to a British player who may one day be able to contribute again to the Davis Cup cause.

Dan Evans factfile
Born 23 May 1990, Birmingham
Turned pro 2006
Best Grand Slam performances Australian Open: 4R (2017)
French Open: 1R (2017)
Wimbledon: 3R (2016)
US Open: 3R (2013) and (2016)
ATP Tour titles 0
ATP Tour finals 1 (Sydney 2017)
Career prize money £1,053,266
2017 prize money £319,132
Highest world ranking 41 – March 2017

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