A warrant has been issued for the arrest of former world champion boxer Herbie Hide after he failed to attend court, saying he was suffering from malaria in a Nigerian clinic.
The 41-year-old was due at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday to face allegations of conspiring to supply cocaine after being charged following a newspaper investigation.
But his barrister Michael Clare told the court: "His wife Helen telephoned my instructing solicitor to say he was suffering from malaria and was in a clinic in Nigeria.
"Last night a doctor who said he was treating Mr Hide in Nigeria called and said he would email a medical report this morning. No medical report has been forthcoming yet."
Prosecutor Ian James said Hide was given permission to leave the country for seven days at an earlier hearing but he was now in breach of the terms of his bail.
Recorder Maureen Baker issued a warrant not backed for bail, saying that Hide was warned on previous occasions that he would need a doctor's report if he had to miss court due to illness. It means Hide should be arrested, detained and brought before the court at the earliest opportunity.
Hide's co-defendant, Ben Sharman, 22, of Howe Lane, Poringland, Norfolk, admitted conspiracy to supply a class A drug, offering to supply a class A drug and offering to supply a class B drug.
Sharman, who was remanded in custody, denied supplying cocaine to Hide.
Hide, of Long Lane, Bawburgh, near Norwich, held the World Boxing Organisation version of the heavyweight title twice. He was arrested earlier this year after being filmed by undercover reporters from The Sun.
The pair are expected to stand trial in October.