British world number 50 Dan Evans has received a provisional suspension from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) after he tested positive for cocaine.

The 27-year-old,  who reached the last 16 of the 2017 Australian Open (a career best in grand slams), provided a positive sample when he was tested during the Barcelona Open in April. The ITF announced Evans will be banned with effect from June 26 “pending determination of the case”.

Evans remarked this is a very difficult time for him. The tennis player said he was notified a few days ago that he had failed a drugs test in April where he tested positive for cocaine. The disgraced tennis player said it is really important for everyone to know that he took cocaine out of competition and the context was completely unrelated to tennis.

Known as one of tennis’ bad boys, Evans is likely to face a possible ban of two years. He was caught at a nightclub in 2008 until the early hours with doubles partner Daniel Smethurst on the night before their junior doubles match at Wimbledon. As a result, Evans was stripped of all Lawn Tennis Association funding and support for a period of four months. In 2012, he was stripped of his Lawn Tennis Association funding again after he allegedly showed a bad attitude and lacking commitment. In March 2015, Dan Evans was fined after he failed to turn up for a Futures event on the Wirral.

In 2007, Martina Hingis tested positive for cocaine at Wimbledon. She was subsequently suspended for two years. In 2009, Richard Gasquet received the same suspension but it was later reduced after tribunal panel of the ITF ruled he had taken the substance inadvertently.

The English professional tennis player was heavily criticized by world No. 1 Andy Murray. The Olympic champion remarked Evans has let himself down and all of the people that help him. Murray also commented that he is sure his team and family will be extremely disappointed. Murray also said he had spent a reasonable amount of time with Dan over the last couple of years and added Evans had put himself in a position to do really well for the last few years of his career and he has blown that now. The world No. 1 also said it was looking like this was going to be the best few years of his career and he had got himself into a position to play in all the big events. Murray went on to comment that Dan has made poor decisions in the past and he made another really bad one there.

David Evans, father of the shamed tennis star, backed comments on Murray on his son. David remarked Dan has let everybody down and deserves a ban. The 62 year old electrician from Birmingham said he had followed Dan around the world to watch him play.

Ellesse, the clothing sponsor of Evans, announced it was dropping him. In a statement, the company said Evans showed great promise on the court, but it could not condone the lifestyle choices he had made.

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