Tennis player Dan Evans has revealed that he failed a drugs test in April, testing positive for cocaine.
The 27-year-old British number three, currently ranked 50th in the world by the ATP, made the shocking announcement at a very brief press conference held at a hotel near to Queen's Club on Friday afternoon (23 June) after being notified of the result earlier this week.
"It's really important that you know this was taken out of competition and the context was completely unrelated to tennis," Evans 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.
"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.
"I hope you understand that I will not be taking any questions and I would like to thank you for your support of my career to date. For the good and the bad times."
Evans said he "wanted to come here in person to tell you guys face to face".
The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP) have now released a statement confirming that a sample given by Evans on 24 April at the Barcelona Open was found to contain cocaine and its metabolite. He was charged with an anti-doping rule violation on 16 June and accepted the finding before being provisionally suspended with effect from 26 June.
"We are very disappointed at the news that Dan Evans has tested positive for a recreational substance," said Lawn Tennis AssocIation (LTA) performance director Simon Timson. "We absolutely condemn any form of drug-taking and will support the process which needs to take place.
"We are in touch with Dan and we will offer appropriate guidance, support and education to him on how best to address the issues he now faces."
It is not yet known how long Evans will be banned for. A positive test can carry a maximum ban of up to four years under current International Tennis Federation (ITF) rules.
Martina Hingis tested positive for cocaine in 2007 and retired from the WTA Tour after being handed a two-year suspension before returning to tennis in 2010. Richard Gasquet was slapped with a provisional 12-month ban in 2009, but that was later overturned after an ITF Panel and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) accepted his claims that his contamination with the drug had resulted from kissing a woman in a nightclub in Miami on the day before an anti-doping test.
Birmingham native Evans last competed at the Aegon Trophy ATP Challenger Tour event in Surbiton in early June, beating compatriot James Ward and Akira Santillan before retiring hurt in his quarter-final meeting with Dustin Brown due to a calf injury that appeared to put his place at Wimbledon in jeopardy.
The right-hander, who turned professional in 2006 and achieved a career-high ranking of 41 in March, subsequently withdrew from grass-court warm-up events in Nottingham, Queen's and Eastbourne.
Evans has appeared twice for Great Britain in the Davis Cup in 2017 and produced the best Grand Slam showing of his career during January's Australian Open, reaching the fourth round in Melbourne as the last British man left standing before seeing his spirited challenge ended by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Previously labelled as the bad boy of British tennis due to his off-court behaviour and accusations over a lack of commitment, Evans had fought back impressively after falling to as low as 772nd in the rankings in 2015.