Argentina international Ezequiel Lavezzi is to take legal action after a journalist suggested he had been left out of the squad to face Colombia because he had been smoking cannabis.
Lavezzi, now plying his trade in the Chinese Super League for Hebei China Fortune, was called up by Edgardo Bauza for World Cup qualifiers against Brazil and Colombia.
He played no part in Thursday's 3-0 defeat to Brazil and reporter Gabriel Anello claimed on Tuesday that Lavezzi would not be included among the substitutes for the Colombia clash later that day, suggesting he had been involved in smoking marijuana.
"Lavezzi is left off the substitutes' bench tomorrow because of the joint that was smoked last night in the camp? I'm asking... just asking," Anello posted on Twitter.
That prompted an indignant response from Lavezzi, who promised to open legal proceedings against the journalist.
"I have hereby communicated that I'm going to initiate legal action against Gabriel Anello for his false declarations against my person, for the serious damage that they have caused to my family and in my work," came the riposte, also via Twitter.