Ivory Coast goalkeeper handed drugs ban ahead of opening Africa Cup of Nations fixture

·1-min read
 (ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
(ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

Ivory Coast goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo is set to miss the Africa Cup of Nations having received a provisional ban from Fifa after testing positive for a banned substance.

First-choice stopper Gbohouo’s suspension was confirmed by the Ivorian Football Federation on the eve of their tournament opener against Equatorial Guinea.

The 33-year-old is based in Ethiopia, whose football federation first confirmed that had been provisionally suspended by Fifa after testing positive for trimetazidine - a heart medication that the World Anti-Doping Agency categorises as a stimulant - before the tournament.

The Ivory Coast hoped that the ban would be lifted after further information was provided, including Gbohouo in their Afcon squad, but it has now been upheld by Fifa’s disciplinary committee.

“Early last year, we asked Sylvain to do an eye exam, as goalkeepers often do,’ explained coach Patrice Beaumelle. “He did it in Abidjan. The doctor who examined him prescribed medication. Sylvain took the medication in March, but since then he has stopped.

“We were informed of the result on December 27. There were traces of the molecule in his urine. We provided the prescription.”

Fifa have allowed 20 days to lodge a formal appeal.

The Ivory Coast play their opening Group E game against Equatorial Guinea in Douala on Wednesday evening.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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