London: British tennis player Dan Evans has said that he failed a drug test in April, testing positive for cocaine.
The world No 50 claimed on Friday that he had taken the recreational drug out-of-competition for reasons “completely unrelated to tennis”, the Independent reported.
He called a press conference at a hotel close to Queen’s Club to announce that he had failed a drugs test.
Earlier this week, he received a wildcard to play at the Aegon Championships but had to withdraw because of injury.
The fact that his use of the drug was entirely recreational means he will likely escape the maximum sentence of four-years for a positive test. In 2007, Martina Hingis served a two-year ban for testing positive for cocaine, while in 2009 Richard Gasquet was banned for a year.
“This is a very difficult day for me and I wanted to come here in person to tell you guys face to face,” Evans said.
“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,” he said.
“I made a mistake and I must face up to it. I do not condone for one second to anyone that this was acceptable behaviour,” Evans said.
“I’ve let a lot of people down – my family, my coach, my team, sponsors, British tennis and my fans. I can only deeply apologise from the bottom of my heart. This has been an extremely sad and humbling experience.”