Cote d'Ivoire goalkeeper Gbohouo handed 18-month FIFA doping ban

Sylvain Gbohouo of Ivory Coast during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals, quarterfinals match between Ivory Coast and Algeria at Suez Stadium, Suez,

Cote d'Ivoire goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo has received an 18-month ban from football activities globally by football's world governing body, FIFA.

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee handed the shot-stopper the ban over a doping violation, ruling him out until just before his country hosts the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations.

The 33-year-old, who plays for Ethiopian top-flight side Wolkite Ketema, will be out of action until 24 June 2023.

Sylyian Gbohouo of Ivory Coast warming up during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Malawi and Ivory coast at Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg, on 08 October 2021

The goalkeeper, who has made 65 appearances for the Elephants, tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine which resulted in the decision.

"As a result of the presence of the prohibited substance in his sample, the player was found to be in violation of article 6 of the FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations as read in conjunction with article 17 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code," a FIFA statement released on Monday read.

"The aforementioned suspension period starts on 23 December 2021, the date on which the player was provisionally suspended by the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.

"In line with article 30 of the FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations, the suspension covers, inter alia, all types of matches, including domestic, international, friendly and official fixtures."

Trimetazidine is a heart medication that the World Anti-Doping Agency stated is a stimulant.

Gbohouo was a member of the Cote d'Ivoire team that won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea where they beat Ghana in a penalty shootouts.

Sylyian Gbohouo of Cote d'Ivoire warming up during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match

The experienced goalkeeper was provisionally suspended in December last year which saw him miss the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon this year.

Gbohouo in his defence said that he was prescribed medicine containing the trimetazidine after being taken to a meeting in March 2021 with an ophthalmologist by the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF).

FIFA judged that Gbohouo had unintentionally doped, thus reducing his ban from the standard four years for such an offence to two.

The ban was further reduced by six months after Gbohouo cooperated with the FIFA investigators.

His ban was backdated to 23 December and he will be free to play again after 24 June 2023.