Ignorance seems to be in abundant supply among today's English Premier League stars, a personality trait that is spreading like an epidemic among the cash-laden young men that ply their trade in soccer's toughest competition.
Unfortunately for Kolo Toure, it is not a defense.
Toure, the Manchester City defender, could face a two-year ban from soccer after failing a drug test which was administered after his team's 2-1 defeat at Manchester United on February 12.
He has, through an advisor and in a conversation with his mentor, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, claimed his positive "A" sample was as a result of taking a dietary supplement given to him by his wife and insisted he had no knowledge that it contained a banned substance. And his words – true though they may be – just don't wash.
Toure's assertion that he did not try to claim an unfair advantage is easy to believe, but it should not protect him against the full force of the soccer authorities, and a punishment which is likely to be between four and nine months but could be longer.
Soccer players are fully aware of the doping policies that are in effect and are furnished with a full list of everything that is prohibited. Equally, they have extensive knowledge of the potential punishments, which are spelled out in depth by the powers that be.
Even if they can't be bothered to read the anti-doping handbook, there is the case of Rio Ferdinand to remind them. The England captain was banned for eight months for skipping a drug test, while several other players have served bans for taking prohibited substances.
All Toure had to do before he ingested his wife's supplement was to read the label and check it against the banned list. If that was too taxing he could have phoned his club's doctor or any other Manchester City official.
Is it too much to think that at some point, something might have gone off in his brain? After all, players are told to be pedantically stringent on matters like this, to always check first, to not even take a cough drop without making sure it was permitted.
We're not talking about some kid from the youth team with little experience, though. Toure spent eight years at Arsenal, has played in the Champions League and the World Cup, and is City's vice captain.
The sad part is that Toure is actually one of the good guys. He is a devout Muslim and leads a quiet life away from soccer, unlike so many current players.
There will be some sympathy for him, but in reality he doesn't deserve it. Is a paycheck well above $100,000 per week not enough to secure vigilance of this kind?
This saga still has some ways to run. First, the results of Toure's "B" sample need to be analyzed, and City can be expected to put up a strong legal fight against any lengthy ban.
But all Toure has is an explanation, not an excuse, and has no one to blame but himself if he is restricted to the sidelines for the foreseeable future.