The Perth Scorchers have terminated their contract with England import Laurie Evans after the cricketer tested positive for a banned substance during a routine anti-doping test in August.
The 35-year-old, who played 15 matches for the Scorchers last season, has strenuously denied any wrongdoing.
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“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,” Evans said in a statement via the Professional Cricketers’ Association.
“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.”
The highest penalty for a doping violation is a two-year ban.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Scorchers confirmed the club was aware that Evans had tested positive for a banned substance.
“The club is disappointed to learn of Evans’ positive anti-doping test result relating to a sample provided in August 2022,” the statement read.
“Due to the circumstances, the Scorchers and Laurie and his management have decided to mutually terminate his contract for the Big Bash League season.
“The club will explore its options to source a replacement player for the tournament.”
Evans was player of the match in last summer’s Big Bash League final against the Sydney Sixers, scoring an unbeaten 76 (41) at Marvel Stadium to help the Scorchers secure their fourth title.
He plundered 361 runs at 40.11 in last summer’s Big Bash, finishing as the Scorchers’ third-highest run-scorer of the tournament.
Following successful winter with Surry and the Manchester Originals in The Hundred, Evans was retained by the Scorchers on a gold contract at the inaugural BBL Draft.
“Surrey CCC have been made aware that Laurie Evans has returned a positive anti-doping test result, relating to a sample provided in August this year,” Surrey said in a statement.
“We have been in discussion with Laurie and his representatives and understand he intends to investigate this result.
“We will make no further comment until the process has concluded.”
The Scorchers’ season gets underway at Perth Stadium on Saturday, December 17 with a grand final rematch against the Sixers.