One horrified team-mate from his Premier League club spotted him “doing a line” in the loos.
And others were shocked when he emerged from the toilets looking the worse for wear during a pre-Christmas team get-together after an away game.
Half an hour later his team’s irate manager had him put in a taxi and sent home — mistakenly believing he had drunk too much. A club insider said: “Everyone is talking about it.
“It wasn’t the club’s official Christmas party but a few drinks after a game and many of the players and manager were there.
“One of the players saw him doing a line in the toilets then half an hour later he was all over the place. His jaw was working overtime and he was a mess.
“He wasn’t just drunk. The gaffer was furious and got him out the back door and into a taxi thinking he had drunk too much.”
Sources say the star had provided clean samples to drug testers just a day earlier — so knew he could snort cocaine without the risk of being tested again in the next few days.
His behaviour is said to have shocked other squad members and caused a rift within the team.
The insider added: “There’s been turmoil in the dressing room most of the season and this hasn’t helped.
“Results haven’t been fantastic so it’s the worst possible timing. The drug testers had visited the day before so he knew he could get away with it.”
Footballers face a two-year ban by the FA if they test positive for Class A drugs.
Latest figures show UK Anti-Doping collected more than 5,000 samples from players during the 2017/18 season. This included 1,923 from the Premier League — a large increase on 1,171 samples from the previous season.
There were 1,109 tests taken from players in the Championship, 638 in League One and 610 in League Two.
'TESTED ONCE IN SEASON'
COCAINE can remain in the blood for 48 hours and in urine for up to four days.
Players are warned they can be urine-tested at any time but one former Premiership striker recently told the BBC he was tested just once in an entire season.
The Football Association says players must notify it in advance if they are unavailable at training and give a one-hour time slot when they will be at home for testing.
Clubs must also inform the FA of their training schedules.
As well as failing the tests players can be punished for refusing to give a sample, tampering with the drug testing process or insulting the testing officers.
The FA says it hopes to carry out more than 4,500 tests by the end of this season including at matches and out of competition.
Although cocaine is detectable in blood and urine for a limited time, traces can remain in hair for up to 90 days.
Six footballers failed tests for recreational drugs last season but their identities have not been revealed.
Two players were punished for anti-doping violations during the 2016-17 season — Aston Villa’s Jake Humphries and former Accrington midfielder Paddy Lacey.
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