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."
24. April 2018
|Bogut says NBA is career over after joining Sydney Kings|
|Dani Alves: I´d return to Barcelona tomorrow|
|No friendly Roma reunion for Salah, warns Klopp|
|Tom Brady´s agent expects Patriots QB to play in 2018|
|Spurs coach Popovich will miss game five against Warriors|
|A total accident – Durant responds to Instagram criticism of Westbrook|
|Horse named after Pats´ Gronkowski out of Kentucky Derby due to illness|
|White Sox pitcher Farquhar ´progressing well´ after brain surgery|
|Started from the bottom now we´re here! Wall says Drake predicted Raptors sweep|
|WATCH: Translator wins Klopp´s approval after lengthy response|
|Super Bowl champions Eagles planning White House visit|
|Swap spaghetti for burgers? Di Francesco not considering Premier League move|
|Allardyce hits back at style critics after scrappy Everton win|
23. April 2018
|Nothing to prove - Cahill bullish after Chelsea revival|
|Rybarikova sets up Halep clash in Stuttgart|
|Everton 1 Newcastle United 0: Walcott scuppers Benitez´s century celebrations|
|Everton debut ´virtual mascot´ before Newcastle clash|
|Karlovic wins battle of ATP Tour veterans in Barcelona|
|Salah? I can count on Cengiz Under – Di Francesco|
|Robertson ready for Crucible challenge after being ´hamstrung´ by off-table issues|
|Kings XI hold on for dramatic victory against Daredevils|
|´Shameful´ Bolivian side forfeit match at 7-0 down after fielding youth team|
|Henderson fired up for ´fantastic´ De Rossi battle|
|Klopp urges Liverpool fans to ´show respect´ to Roma|
|Juventus confirm muscle tear for Chiellini|
|Klopp key to surprising Salah success – Totti|
|Hartley to miss South Africa tour with concussion|
|Salah´s PFA award made more special by De Bruyne form – Klopp|
|Liverpool have earned the right to be feared, says Gerrard|
|Arsenal confirm ankle ligament damage for Elneny|
|Cubs´ Kris Bryant ´as good as can be expected´ after being hit with 96 mph fastball|
|Hector pledges future to struggling Cologne|
|´Crazy´ fans can help Roma knock out Liverpool, says Voller|
|Sharapova not short on desire despite struggles|
|South Africa to test unbeaten home record vs Pakistan & Sri Lanka|
|Kerr: Ginobili should keep playing another two years|
|He keeps getting better and better - Henderson full of praise for PFA winner Salah|
|Roma v Liverpool: Giallorossi have chance to write positive headlines|
|Prove you are the best - Povetkin promoter lays down Joshua gauntlet|
|Wenger will not be short of offers from clubs - Dein|
|LeBron hails Korver & Clarkson as Cavs square series|
|I may play the kids in the FA Cup next season, reveals bemused Pochettino|
|Simeone weighing up three-man defence for Arsenal tie|
|Kings wait for Bogut signing approval|
|Vieira refuses to address Arsenal rumours and Wenger departure|
|Cueto lowers historic ERA in Giants´ win|
|Spurs avoid sweep, Cavs edge Pacers|
|WATCH: Smith beats first-quarter buzzer with near full-court shot|
|Harden, D´Antoni hope Rockets regain top form|
|Man United star Pogba can win Ballon d´Or, says Ronaldinho|
|Silva loves me more than his girlfriend – Mendy|
|MLS Review: Timbers end NYC´s unbeaten start, Sounders claim first win|
|Flyers´ Couturier played with torn MCL|
|Emery praises PSG for maintaining motivation|
|Cavs´ Hill out for game four with back spasms|
|Oblak unsure over Atletico Madrid future|
|Klopp ready for ´different´ Roma test|
|Salah always determined to prove his Premier League worth|
|Landry earns first PGA Tour victory at Texas Open|
|City´s Sane named PFA Young Player of the Year|
|Salah pips De Bruyne to PFA Players´ Player of the Year award|
|Napoli bus spat at and insulted, Sarri claims|
|Navas will be at Real Madrid for many years – Perez|
22. April 2018
|Juve still have the advantage, Allegri claims|
|Racing coach Labit ready for ´formidable´ Leinster challenge|
|Smalling not giving up on World Cup|
|Hard to catch Man City if they invest, Mourinho warns|
|Pogba: I have no problem with Mourinho|
|Koulibaly: Napoli have always believed in Scudetto|
|Bordeaux 0 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Lo Celso keeps champions on track for records|