Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba has hit back angrily at “racist and contemptuous” comments made by two doctors on French television suggesting studies on drugs to combat coronavirus should be tested in Africa.

“If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we do this study in Africa where there are no masks, no treatment, no resuscitation?” asked Professor Jean-Paul Mira, head of the intensive care unit at the Cochin Hospital in Paris.

The same as for some AIDS studies where prostitutes try things because we know they’re unprotected”.

Professor Camille Locht, research director at Inserm, replied: “You are right. We are currently thinking in parallel about a study in Africa to make this same type of approach with the BCG.

“There is a tender process that has gone out or is going to go out. We will seriously think about that. That doesn’t prevent us from thinking in parallel about a study in Europe and Australia.”

“It is inconceivable that we continue to accept this,” Drogba wrote on Twitter.

“Africa is not a laboratory. I strongly denounce these serious, racist and contemptuous remarks, help us save lives in Africa and stop the spread of this virus which is destabilising the whole world, instead of considering us as guinea pigs. It is absurd”