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."
23. Juni 2017
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|Cambiasso: I didn´t fit in at Madrid because I wasn´t a galactico|
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22. Juni 2017
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|Alexis Sanchez´s record-breaking goal ´very special´, says Pizzi|
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|Salah can win at the highest level with Liverpool, says Klopp|
|Hamilton focused on beating Ferrari, not driving for them|
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|Liverpool complete €42m Salah signing|
|Azarenka comeback halted by Konjuh in Mallorca|
|Germany 1 Chile 1: Stindl denies record-breaker Sanchez|
|Cameroon identified Ryan weakness, Zambo Anguissa reveals|
|Svitolina doubtful for Wimbledon after Birmingham exit|
|Lonzo Ball makes case for LeBron James to join him on Lakers|
|Hamilton clarifies F1 retirement talk|
|Real Madrid reject Mourinho contract allegations|
|Alexis Sanchez becomes Chile´s all-time top goalscorer with Germany strike|
|Querrey ousts giant-killer Thompson as Cilic powers on|
|Garcia two behind surprise package Ormsby in Munich|
|Shaqiri to Roma? Stoke have ´no plans´ to sell|
|Federer reaches last eight in Halle, injury concern for Nishikori|
|Bad moon rising for Postecoglou as Australia stumble again|
|Day´s struggles continue, McIlroy back in the red|
|Mexico v Russia: Cherchesov ready for ´final´ with last-four spot at stake|
|Cameroon 1 Australia 1: VAR in the spotlight again as Socceroos claim controversial point|
|Mainz sign Germany keeper Adler|
|Dennis opted out of Tour de France selection|
|Man Utd target Morata sets out aim for ´busy´ 2018|
|Vettel: Ferrari deserve more credit for bridging Mercedes gap|
|Balotelli ´ready to make financial effort´ for Nice stay|
|Santos staying positive as Lucas Lima to Barcelona rumours swirl|
|Arsenal extend Asano´s Stuttgart loan|
|Lorenzo hoping to be remembered fondly after retirement|
|Raiders make Derek Carr richest player in NFL history with contract extension|
|Halep accepts Eastbourne wildcard|
|Afghanistan and Ireland confirmed as Full Members by ICC|
|New Zealand v Portugal: Pepe urges Selecao to be faithful to their style|
|Super League promotion for 21-year-old referee|
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|Lealiifano returns under 12 months on from cancer diagnosis|
|Team Sky name strong Tour de France support act for Froome|
|F1 Raceweek: Bottas pressed on 2018 drive, Ocon and Perez make up|
|World Cup in Russia will be safe and successful, vows sports minister|
|Kazan mayor promises World Cup Messi mural to rival Ronaldo´s|
|China U20s set to play in German league|
|Nishikori retires from Halle clash with Khachanov|
|Dortmund defender Guerreiro´s injury downgraded to bruising|
|Ducuing to make first France start, Plisson and Dulin return|
|Shanghai SIPG star Oscar handed eight-game ban|
|Ireland hand first starts to Tracy and Treadwell|
|Cavani one of best strikers on planet - Di Maria|
|Guerreiro confirms fracture, ruled out of Confederations Cup remainder|
|He´s human we´ve all been there - Rojas defends New Zealand skipper Wood|
|Kasper Schmeichel at Man Utd would be ´a dream´ for dad Peter|
|Borussia Dortmund move for Barcelona wonderkid Lee|