Mamadou Sakho says his drugs ban was the reason he was not selected for France's Euro 2016 squad.
The defender tested positive for the fat burner higenamine in April last year and was handed a 30-day suspension, although it has since transpired that the substance was not on WADA's banned list.
Sakho, who is on loan at Crystal Palace from Liverpool, missed the Europa League final due to his ban and believes he would have been picked for Euro 2016 were it not for the suspension.
"I worked so hard to prepare myself for the European Championship, to help my country, to wear the France shirt in a tournament on home soil," Sakho told the Guardian. "Now I'll never do that.
"Whatever they say or do, they cannot replace what they took away from me. My lawyer can see what happens next but, for me, I focus on other things. I have learned in life you should never look back over your shoulder, wondering what might have been. That is the past. Always look forward, at the next challenge. It's life.
"Good and bad things happen, but my mentality is always to try and find a positive. It is the only way to be and, today, I am really happy."
Sakho maintained his innocence throughout the affair and the 27-year-old said it was tough to explain to his family why he had been banned from playing.
"The hardest moment was when I saw my Mum, my sister, my brother, my wife in tears... they didn't understand the situation," Sakho added.
"That was difficult, seeing them upset. They were devastated, but I was there trying to explain to them I had done nothing wrong, and that everything would be alright. It would all be fixed.
"I was actually quite calm, quite peaceful, and just trying to reassure them. It was a time for me to be strong, and those who are close to me had faith. We knew that, eventually, I would be proved right.
"I knew the ban meant I could not be picked, so I spoke with the manager Didier Deschamps and promised I would come to France's first game, and to their last game too, and that I hoped that would be the final. It was. I visited the team hotel in Paris the day before the final to show my support. My ambition is still to play for my country at the World Cup in 2018 - and regain my place."
22. Juni 2018
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|Argentina were crying like girls – Vrsaljko|
|Cavaliers select Sexton with number eight overall pick|
|Argentina must ´pray´ results go their way, says Mascherano|
|Grizzlies select Jackson with number four pick|
|Hawks select Doncic with third pick, trade him to Mavericks|
|Kings take Bagley with number two pick|
|Suns select Ayton number one overall in NBA Draft|
|Argentina concerns grow as Dalic vows to rest players against Iceland|
|Messi could retire after World Cup, says Zabaleta|
|Spieth, McIlroy off to hot starts at Travelers Championship|
|Let Sampaoli say what he wants - Aguero angry at Argentina loss|
|Perisic: Messi is the best, but Argentina do not play as a team|
|Dominant England are ´spoiled´ by options, says Morgan|
21. Juni 2018
|Argentina squad ´clouds´ Messi´s brilliance, claims Sampaoli|
|Fagner to start for Brazil due to Danilo injury|
|Arzani lauds leader Jedinak and remains confident on last-16 chances|
|Croatia cut Messi off in Argentina thrashing - Modric|
|Pogba: Kante, Matuidi have 15 lungs|
|Julian Nagelsmann: the Bundesliga prodigy swapping Hoffenheim for RB Leipzig|
|England dominate in Durham to close in on series whitewash|
|´Fortunate´ Federer closes in on Halle title|
|Calamity Caballero and Sampaoli tinkerings leave Argentina a broken mess|
|Wimbledon champion Muguruza confident despite Birmingham defeat|
|Argentina 0 Croatia 3: Caballero drops clanger as Messi´s men are stunned|
|Funes Mori departs Everton to join Villarreal|
|Djokovic beats Dimitrov as Kyrgios lays down a marker|
|Relegated Verona appoint World Cup winner Grosso|
|Trotz named Islanders´ new coach|
|Matic and Serbia ready for ´hellish´ Switzerland clash|
|Fleetwood flounders as Gros takes Pulheim lead|
|No attacks on Neymar, pledges Costa Rica boss Ramirez|
|Giroud return brings structure to France, but again they disappoint|
|Brighton sign Sunderland goalkeeper Steele|
|Schmeichel and Eriksen blast ´exceptionally harsh´ VAR penalty|
|Nigeria´s young World Cup squad learning on the job - Rohr|
|Moody: England players need protection|
|France 1 Peru 0: Mbappe books last-16 spot with record goal|
|I don´t need anyone to hold my hand - Verstappen|
|Captaincy comes back around to Silva as 2014 pain fades|
|We don´t want to be losers - Petkovic|
|Alba not interested in Barcelona exit as Tottenham rumours swirl|
|BREAKING NEWS: Nagelsmann to take RB Leipzig role in 2019|
|Messi cannot be compared to Maradona, claims Argentina World Cup winner Kempes|
|Mbappe sets France record with maiden World Cup strike|
|Federer comes through tough Halle test|
|Nagelsmann to leave Hoffenheim amid RB Leipzig rumours|
|Gerrard brings former Liverpool team-mate Flanagan to Rangers|
|Cipriani to be ´the calmest guy in the room´ on England return|
|C´est magnifique! Lloris earns 100th France cap|
|Belgium v Tunisia: Hazard hoping for World Cup lift off|
|WATCH: Manchester United ditch piano to welcome Fred the red|
|Hamann springs to defence of Ozil|
|Alonso non-committal on future after Le Mans triumph|
|McInally returns to Scotland starting line-up|
|Giroud & Matuidi start as Deschamps drops Dembele for Peru|
|Torreira focused on Uruguay amid Arsenal links|
|NBA Mock Draft 2018: Deandre Ayton leads intriguing first round|
|Tite will not take away Neymar´s ´genius´|
|Australia show promise but calls for Cahill ignored amid lack of cutting edge|
|Manchester United means greatness - Fred aiming for titles following Old Trafford switch|
|Denmark 1 Australia 1: Jedinak strikes back after Eriksen rocket|
|Neymar not being put at risk by Brazil, says Tite|
|Juventus complete signing of free agent Emre Can|
|Fred completes Manchester United switch|
|Dembele will not join a Spurs rival|
|What were the 0.4 per cent doing? Iceland captain marvels at TV audience|
|Forsberg ready for ´next big step´ after RB Leipzig|
|´Retired´ Brits on bench as Springboks ring changes for final Test|
|Meninga: Key Kangaroos positions up for grabs in Origin|