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Dan Evans: Lawn Tennis Association warns British player over drugs ban

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'I made a mistake' - Evans admits failed drugs test
Britain's Dan Evans has been warned by the Lawn Tennis Association that any support is "entirely dependent" on his level of professionalism as he returns to training after being banned for failing a drugs test.He will be eligible to compete from 24 April after serving a one-year ban.Evans, 27, tested positive for cocaine during last April's Barcelona Open.
He has shown "genuine commitment to getting his tennis career back on track", said the LTA.Under the terms of his suspension, the former world number 41 was allowed to access LTA facilities and support again from last Saturday. On Wednesday, he met the LTA's performance director Simon Timson and Britain's Davis Cup captain Leon Smith."The LTA condemns any form of doping, which has no place in our sport," added the governing body of British tennis."Dan has reflected on his experience over the last 10 months, and would like to support the LTA's anti-doping education programme to help emerging young players avoid similar mistakes."We have offered a structured programme of sports science and medicine support to help Dan on his journey back into the sport he loves."Our support will be entirely dependent on a non-negotiable commitment to ongoing monitoring."
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Prior to his doping ban Evans reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and a highest career ranking of 41 in 2017Evans is expected to spend much of the next few weeks close to home at the Edgbaston Priory Club, which hosts the WTA event two weeks before Wimbledon.His initial task is to regain full fitness, but he may in future train at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, where a higher calibre of opponent is more readily available.When Evans does return, he will do so without a ranking. This means he is very likely to have to go through qualifying just to get into a Futures event, which is the lowest level of competition on the circuit.His best-case scenario is a return in the week beginning 30 April. The Futures tournaments that week are in Nigeria, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Poland, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda and Vietnam.
Analysis
Dan Evans is going to have to do this the hard way, and fight his way back up the rankings by playing in some very minor tournaments with no personal support team.He has no immediate plans to appoint a coach. This is the financial reality of a year's unemployment and the legal bills he clocked up following his positive test. Always a spender rather than a saver, Evans has also had to pay back approximately £90,000 in prize money he earned in the period between his positive test and the announcement of the violation.According to sources, the 27-year-old was not in the best shape either physically or mentally at the end of last year. I understand he could have had the opportunity to train with Andy Murray for part of December, had he shown greater interest.But assuming he now fulfils his side of the bargain, and passes a series of physical tests overseen by the LTA, then Evans has much to gain from the governing body. The performance team can draw up a fitness programme, and then help with a tournament schedule when he is ready to return. Psychological support and advice on injury prevention (all too common when players have been out for a significant period) could also be of huge benefit as Evans embarks on the long road back.
bbc.com
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