Higuita sacked after latest drug test failure

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Colombia's eccentric former national goalkeeper Rene Higuita has tested positive for cocaine for the second time in two years and been sacked by his club Aucus, the Ecuadorean Football Federation has said.

Colombia's eccentric former national goalkeeper Rene Higuita has tested positive for cocaine for the second time in two years and been sacked by his club Aucus, the Ecuadorean Football Federation has said.

"In a match in October between Aucas and Olmedo, Rene Higuita tested positive for the use of cocaine," said the president of the Ecuadorean Football Federation Medical Commission, Romulo Aguilar.

The 38-year-old joined Aucus in January but the club have now terminated his contract.

"Higuita said it was possibly residue from some time ago but I cannot confirm that," Jaime Perez, chairman of Aucas, said.

The goalkeeper was banned for six matches for a similar offence in October 2002 after testing positive in his first match for the Colombian club Pereira.

Before that he was out for more than a year following his dismissal by Barranquilla-based Atletico Junior after repeatedly missing training.

Famed for his "scorpion" kick clearance in a match against England in a friendly at Wembley in 1995, when he dived forward and cleared with his heels, Higuita had a reputation for eye-catching stunts.

In the second round of the 1990 World Cup, he lost the ball while attempting to dribble past Cameroon's Roger Milla - who went on to score.

He repeated the calamity just two weeks ago against El Nacional, dribbling past several opponents and reaching the halfway line before passing the ball straight to opponent Erik de Jesus who shot from 50 yards into the empty net.

In 1993 Higuita spent more than six months in jail on charges of breaking Colombia's anti-kidnapping laws by attempting to negotiate the release of a kidnap victim.

The charges were dropped but Higuita missed the 1994 World Cup. He returned for the 1995 Copa America but the more orthodox Farid Mondragon and later Oscar Cordoba kept him out of the team.

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