Ivory Coast Keeper Forced Out Over Drug Use

Ivory Coast first choice goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo
Ivory Coast first-choice goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo.

Ivory Coast will not be able to use their first choice goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo at the Africa Cup of Nations finals after a drugs ban was confirmed by FIFA.

Gbohouo, who plays club football in Ethiopia at Wolkite City, had been provisionally suspended by FIFA after testing positive for trimetazidine, a heart medication that the World Anti-Doping Agency categorizes as a stimulant.

The announcement was made by the Ethiopian Football Federation on the eve of the tournament but the Ivorians included him in their squad for the Cup of Nations anyway, hoping to have the ban lifted after providing an explanation.

"Early last year, we asked Sylvain to do an eye exam, as goalkeepers often do. 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,” noted Ivory Coast coach Patrice Beaumelle.

However, FIFA’s disciplinary committee has told the Ivorian the suspension is confirmed and allowed 20 days to lodge a formal appeal

Ivory Coast coach Patrice Beaumelle was keen to note that the situation has been really difficult for the player.  

“He has been here since January 5, not knowing if he will be able to play. He is not eating anymore, he has lost weight, he is not sleeping. 

“I hope he stays with us, because I think he has an important role to play around the team if he cannot be in the team. 
“He's a great keeper and an excellent person. It's really hard for him and his family and we are all supporting him because his career isn't finished,” Patrice Beaumelle. 

The Ivory Coast play their opening Group E game against Equatorial Guinea in Douala on Wednesday, January 12.