Burton defender Ben Turner has had his appeal against a Football Association ruling dismissed and will be banned for the first five games of the season.
In March the 29-year-old was found guilty of using racially abusive language towards Brentford’s Nico Yennaris during a match in December.
As well as the suspension, an Independent Regulatory Commission also ruled Turner be fined £8,000 and he must attend an education course.
The player maintains his innocence, though, and manager Nigel Clough and chairman Ben Robinson are standing by him.
Club statement: Ben Turner
— Burton Albion FC (@burtonalbionfc) June 15, 2017
Turner told the club website: “I strongly maintain that I did not use the offensive language that was alleged and therefore I am shocked and extremely disappointed with the decision.
“I would like to thank the chairman, the club and the manager for their full support throughout the process.”
Clough added: “We stand by Ben and have always fully supported him which is why we wanted to appeal.
“Losing Ben for the start of the season is secondary to us to having this decision go against his character.”