Everton footballer Andy van der Meyde is recovering in hospital last night after claims his drink was spiked with drugs.
The Dutch international was taken ill at his home in Wirral, Merseyside, in the early hours.
His partner called police and reported that the 26-year-old footballer's drink had been "spiked".
It is thought he had been enjoying a night out in Liverpool's fashionable Albert Dock area.
He was taken by ambulance to Arrowe Park hospital in Wirral suffering from breathing problems.
A spokeswoman for Merseyside Police said an investigation was under way into the alleged drink-spiking.
She said: "Police were called at 2.40am today by a woman saying her partner had had his drink spiked.
"He was taken to Arrowe Park hospital. Inquiries have been made at bars in Liverpool city centre and CCTV footage is being examined."
Van der Meyde joined Everton in 2005 from Inter Milan. He began his career with his hometown club of Vitesse Arnhem in the Dutch league and joined Ajax in 1997 at the age of 17.
The footballer, who has been plagued by injuries since joining Everton, was forced to deny rumours he was an alcoholic earlier this year.
In an interview with the club's website, he said: "I've heard people say that I drink a lot and that I have been going out all the time.
"But we are all human and we all have problems. When I was out injured things were just so difficult. I was frustrated with everything."