Britain’s Dan Evans revealed he had tested positive for cocaine and was subsequently given a suspended sentence for doping. The ramifications of it off the court have already begun as Italian sportswear firm Ellesse terminated their contract with the World No 50 player after just three months.
The 27-year-old is suspended after admitting last Friday he had failed the test at the Barcelona Open in April. Evans has accepted the finding by WADA and could be banned for up to four years for the anti-doping violation, according to International Tennis Federation (ITF) rules.
At the brief statement he had read out on Friday, Evans said, “This is a very difficult day for me. It is really important that you know this was taken out of competition and the context completely unrelated to tennis. 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. I have 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. It is a sad and humbling experience.”
However the brand which came on board with the Briton only in March after his deal with Nike was not renewed didn’t agree with Evans’ “lifestyle choices” in a statement. “Ellesse announces, with regret, the decision to end its sponsorship of Dan Evans,” read the statement. “Dan has shown great promise on the court and has been a valued member of the Ellesse team, however we cannot condone the lifestyle choices he has made and are therefore withdrawing his sponsorship.”
This is not the first time Evans has been reprimanded or in trouble despite showing plenty of promise. He has twice been stripped of Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) funding for staying out late and then for his attitude.