Cricket

Cricket doping shock as Big Bash League final hero Laurie Evans tests positive for banned substance

Cricket doping scandal erupts as Big Bash League hero reveals he tested positive for a banned substance in ‘distressing’ circumstances

  • Big Bash League final hero reveals he tested positive for a banned substance
  • English batter Laurie Evans claims he has no idea what caused the result
  • Evans top-scored for Perth with an unbeaten 76no off 41 balls in the final

Laurie Evans, who was man of the match as the Perth Scorchers won last season’s Big Bash League final, has revealed he tested positive for a banned substance during this northern hemisphere summer.

The English batter, who was Perth’s first draft pick as a retention player, claims he has no idea what caused the result.

The 35-year-old, who now specialises in the T20 format, made the announcement via a statement carried by the Professional Cricketers’ Association.

Laurie Evans (pictured), who was man of the match as the Perth Scorchers won last season's Big Bash League final, has revealed he tested positive for a banned substance during this northern hemisphere summer

Laurie Evans (pictured), who was man of the match as the Perth Scorchers won last season’s Big Bash League final, has revealed he tested positive for a banned substance during this northern hemisphere summer

Evans (pictured), who was Perth's first draft pick as a retention player, claims he has no idea what caused the result

Evans (pictured), who was Perth’s first draft pick as a retention player, claims he has no idea what caused the result

‘I was shocked to be told that an anti-doping sample I provided in August 2022 tested positive for trace amounts of a banned substance,’ he wrote.

‘I believe passionately in clean sport and I have never taken any banned substances.

‘I do not know what caused the positive test, but my team and I are investigating how this could have happened and I am doing everything possible to find out.

‘Due to the confidentiality of the process, I cannot say any more at this stage, but I would like to thank my family for supporting me at this very distressing time.’

Evans, who has played T20 in seven countries in the last five years, played 15 matches for the Scorchers last season scoring 361 runs at a strike-rate of 144.40.

He top-scored with an unbeaten 76no off 41 balls as Perth beat the Sydney Sixers in the final.

Evans (pictured left), who has played T20 in seven countries in the last five years, played 15 matches for the Scorchers last season scoring 361 runs at a strike-rate of 144.40

Evans (pictured left), who has played T20 in seven countries in the last five years, played 15 matches for the Scorchers last season scoring 361 runs at a strike-rate of 144.40

Surrey, Evans’ home county, have also acknowledged the result of the test.

The England and Wales Cricket Board’s anti-doping code suggests a relatively hard line on positive tests, noting in section 2.1 that ‘it is each cricketer’s personal duty to ensure that no prohibited substance enters his/her body. A cricketer is responsible for any prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers found to be present in his/her sample’.

A further explanatory note in the code adds: ‘For the avoidance of doubt … lack of intent, fault, negligence or knowledge shall not be a defence’.

The highest penalty for a doping violation, should the case be proven and no mitigation successfully argued, is a two-year ban.

If Evans is to miss this summer’s BBL, it would come as a significant blow to Perth given they were the only team not to pick up a platinum-level player in the draft.

The highest penalty for a doping violation, should the case be proven and no mitigation successfully argued, is a two-year ban

The highest penalty for a doping violation, should the case be proven and no mitigation successfully argued, is a two-year ban

They would have the opportunity to sign a replacement player under Big Bash rules, however one of Evans’ dynamic ability would not necessarily be available.

Elsewhere, Hobart have signed England’s Zak Crawley as a replacement player for Pakistan star Shadab Khan for the second half of the BBL season.

Shadab will start the season with the Hurricanes, before flying home for a one-day series against New Zealand which begins on January 11.


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