ESPN | Ivory Coast goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo has been temporarily banned by FIFA on the eve of the Africa Cup of Nations, according to the Ethiopia Football Federation.
In a statement as seen by ESPN on Thursday, the EFF confirmed that the Elephants’ No. 1 stopper was found guilty of taking a prohibited substance – Trimetazidine – following a urine test conducted in November.
The 33-year-old stopper, who currently represents Ethiopian side Wolkite City, was the West Africans’ first choice goalkeeper as they won the Nations Cup in 2015.
He had been named in Patrice Beaumelle’s squad for the upcoming tournament in Cameroon, which begins on January 9. The Ivory Coast have not yet released a statement on the matter.
“FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee has announced that it has temporarily banned Sylvain Gbohouo in a message sent to the Ethiopian Football Federation,” the statement began.
“Trimetazidine was found [in a urine sample given in November], a substance that has been banned for athletes since 2014.
“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has passed the following decision on the player: Gbohouo will be temporarily banned worldwide from the day the decision was announced.
“The temporary ban includes national or international competition,” the statement continued. “The temporary ban will be decided by FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee.”
Trimetazidine is found in medicines that help treat heart disease and angina among other conditions, and can only be used by athletes if they have received a ‘Special Medical Use Exemption’ from the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Gbohouo has not been granted this exemption, although the Disciplinary Committee are still to meet to decide the exact terms of the player’s suspension.
The veteran ‘keeper made his Ivory Coast debut in 2013 and has made over 60 appearances for the national side, including in all 12 of their AFCON and World Cup qualifying matches since the end of 2019.
He replaced long-term veteran Boubacar ‘Copa’ Barry on the eve of the 2015 tournament and helped Herve Renard’s side reach the final only to miss out on the penalty-shootout victory over Ghana due to injury.
His predecessor Copa ultimately emerged as the hero in that contest when he struck the decisive spotkick as the Elephants won their first African title since 1992.
Beyond Gbohouo, Beaumelle has also named veteran goalkeepers Abdoul Karim Cisse and Badra Ali Sangare, as well as 24-year-old Ira Eliezer Tape in his AFCON squad, with the Elephants set to face reigning champions Algeria, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea in Group E.
They begin their campaign against the Equatoguineans on January 12 in Douala.