All Whites midfielder Clayton Lewis looks set to miss the OFC Nations Cup after New Zealand Football yesterday announced he is being investigated by Drug Free Sport New Zealand.
A statement from New Zealand Football said a sample from Lewis, collected while he was playing for Auckland City FC in an ASB Premiership match in February, suggested that he had a high level of Ventolin (salbutamol) in his system.
Ventolin is a common drug used to treat asthma and was prescribed to the 19-year-old by a doctor, according to NZ Football.
The cause of the elevated level - described as a "potential adverse analytical finding" by NZF, is being investigated by Drug Free Sport New Zealand.
Lewis has made three appearances for the All Whites and was named in the 23-man squad for the Oceania Nations Cup, which starts in Papua New Guinea next week.
But while he is not currently subject to any disciplinary proceedings or playing suspension, NZ Football, in consultation with Lewis, has decided he will not be available for international selection while the investigation is being carried out.
The All Whites have two more warm-up matches against Brisbane club sides before opening their OFC Nations Cup campaign against Fiji next Saturday.