Sylvain Gbohouo, goalkeeper from Ivory Coast, African champions in 2015, was suspended by FIFA in December last year after testing positive for trimethazidine. He had been prescribed Vastarel to treat poor blood circulation in his right eye. According to the French sports doctor Jean-Pierre de Mondenard, trimethazidine has absolutely nothing to do with a doping product, which is questioned by Dr. Olivier Rabin, scientific director of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Sylvain Gbohouo, who no longer has any prospects, risks a four-year suspension.
“I trusted the doctors in the sample who obviously did not do their job. They should have checked what they prescribed to me at the hospital (an ophthalmologist asked him to take Vastarel, editor’s note). They had to know if it was good or not in an anti-doping test “, says Sylvain Gbohouo bitterly.
“This case has been going on for five months”Sylvain Gbohouo, 33, underwent an eye examination in March 2021 and the ophthalmologist diagnosed that he had poor blood circulation in his right eye. “As far as I was concerned, I did not feel any symptoms. This case has dragged on for five months and I am still waiting for the final decision. I have no further news from the union. Since it was an election, I hope the new president (Idriss Diallo was elected on Saturday, April 23, at the head of the Ivorian Football Association (FIF), will try to understand what happened and help me get out of this situation, he said calmly.
Like the selection, the Ethiopian club Wolkite City FC also remained silent. Sylvain Gbohouo, who could not compete in the last CAN in Cameroon, feels lonely and abandoned. Some teammates in the competition still got in touch. His CAN qualifying bonus was never paid to him. He hopes today that members of FIFA will have listened to his version of April 27, and will consider that he is not guilty of this positive test. “I know that according to the regulations, I am responsible for the drugs I take. My goal today is to find the football pitches as soon as possible, he hopes.
Doping agents: WADA’s list can not be questioned “The World Anti-Doping Code states that a substance can be classified as a doping agent based on three criteria: performance improvement or performance improvement potential, potential health risk and breach of spirit in sport. At least two of the three criteria must be met for a substance to be classified as a doping substance, Olivier Rabin explains in the preamble. The World Anti-Doping Code also states that when a substance is included in the list, it can not be questioned. The athlete and his entourage must have known that latrimetazidine is a banned molecule because it is on the WADA list. We issue rules and we distribute them to sports federations, national anti-doping agencies and governments. The list shall be published no later than 1 October each year for entry into force on 1 January of the following year. »
A Russian study published in January 2020 in the Asian Journal of Sports Medicine noted “lack of evidence” to support WADA’s ban on trimethazidine as meldonium, xenon or cobalt. expert opinions can be subjective or biased and therefore have low probative value, “the authors said, urging WADA to” publish the data “, as it must strengthen” the confidence of the sports community “.
As a reminder, on November 16, 2021, Ivory Coast met Cameroon in Douala, as part of the final day of qualifying for the next World Cup. The draw had nominated Sylvain Gbohouo to take part in the doping test. Traces of trimethazidine were detected in the urine of the Ivorian porter. In early January, the Ivorian Football Federation confirmed the suspension of the doorman, African champion 2015who became the title goalkeeper after the 2014 World Cup, replacing Boubacar Barry Copa.
A failure in communication from FIF “I was informed of the result on Monday, December 27: there were traces of molecules in his urine. We handed out the prescription, the union’s doctor contacted the doctor who provided proof of the prescription. The player has not taken any medicine since March 2021 “, commented former coach Patrice Beaumelle.
The FIFA email arrived at the federation on 22 December and Sylvain Gbohouo was not notified until 28. Why such a delay in communication? His B-sample could have been analyzed, but the union did not keep him informed within 48 hours to request a second opinion. A great regret for Sylvain Gbohouo.
Sylvain Gbohouo discontinued his treatment in April 2021, after following him for a month and a half. He felt “tremors in his hands” and felt impending “heart problems”. Pharmacist and toxicologist Pascal Kintz had mentioned “many Parkinson-type side effects” that did not seem “likely to benefit athletes”, he stressed in the journal Toxicologie Analytique et Clinique, even mentioning the risks of “gait disorders”, “fall risk” and “hallucinations”. Incredible for a professional goalkeeper.
“Trimethazidine would not make a snail move faster” For Jean-Pierre de Mondenard, sports doctor and leading doping specialist, interviewed by RFI, Vastarel, a drug used to prevent angina pectoris, but also for cases of dizziness or loss of visual acuity , has nothing to do with a doping product: “trimethazidine would not make a snail move faster”. Olivier Rabin indicates that trimethazidine may improve cardiac metabolism during exercise. “This is the reason why this substance is banned in athletes. And besides, it is not a Valda pellet. It is still a drug given against angina pectoris. It is not insignificant,” he says.
For Jean-Pierre de Mondenard, there can be no trace of this molecule in the body for more than a week. “I tend to agree. This substance has a relatively short lifespan in the body. But I do not judge the cited case that I do not know,” Olivier Rabin replies.
This story is reminiscent of the French wrestler Zelimkhan Khadjiev, who tested positive in 2019 for the same molecule and was suspended for four years. Jean-Pierre de Mondenard indicates that the pharmacist who sold this medicine to Khadjiev without a prescription, which is forbidden (in France, the medicine can only be prescribed by a cardiologist, editor’s note), should not generate a positive control. Because the notice at the time, according to Jean-Pierre de Mondenard, did not warn athletes about doping control, an obligation since 1989 under a directive from the French Ministry of Health. “You have to ask the competent authorities, we have no control over the messages. It is up to the drug laboratory to know the current regulations. I repeat, the drug is on the list of doping products and must be known to everyone,” Olivier Rabin insists.
“In these stories, the athlete takes a four-year suspension when no one else is worried. This is not normal. Especially for a product that is totally ineffective in terms of doping,” protests Jean-Pierre de Mondenard. substances. It is not always just the athlete who is sanctioned “, argues Olivier Rabin. Today, Sylvain Gbohouo may not be wearing the goalie gloves again.