Reports broke out of China this afternoon, where the former Newcastle star is playing for Beijing Enterprises, that he had been taken ill after training.
It appears he was subsequently rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
His former club Newcastle have released a short statement that reads: “We are devastated to have learnt of the tragic passing of former Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote in China today.”
And a spokesman for the player, Emanuele Palladino, said: “It is with deep sadness that I confirm that my client Cheick Tiote sadly passed away earlier today after collapsing in training with his club Beijing Enterprises.
“We cannot say any more at the moment and we request that his family’s privacy be respected at this difficult time. We ask for all your prayers.”