Ivory Coast goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo has been suspended by football’s world governing body Fifa for an alleged doping violation.
The 33-year-old had been expected to be first choice for his country at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, with the Elephants facing Equatorial Guinea in their first game on Wednesday (19:00 GMT).
National team coach Patrice Beaumelle was notified on 26 December that Gbohouo had tested positive for trimetazidine, a heart medication that the World Anti-Doping Agency categorises as a stimulant.
Gbohouo had been named in Ivory Coast’s squad for the tournament three days earlier and was subsequently provisionally suspended.
His ban has now been confirmed by Fifa and Gbohouo, who plays his club football in Ethiopia for Wolkite City, has appealed against the ruling.
“We had hope of getting a favourable response from Fifa but yesterday I learned that they were upholding their decision,” Beaumelle said.
Beaumelle added that the player, who was part of the 2015 Nations Cup-winning squad, was training alone, had lost weight and “is not sleeping”.
Ivory Coast are in Group E alongside holders Algeria, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea, with Badra Ali Sangare, Abdoul Karim Cisse and Ira Eliezer Tape their other three keepers in Cameroon.