Mamadou Sakho ban: Liverpool defender suspended for 30 days after Uefa open proceedings over failed drug test

Sakho has been given a preliminary 30-day ban by Uefa but could still face a longer suspension

Mamadou Sakho has been banned for 30 days by Uefa after the European governing body opened proceedings against the Liverpool defender following a doping violation.

Sakho missed the weekend 2-2 draw with Newcastle after it emerged he had failed a drug test following the Europa League match at Manchester United last month, and he has not travelled to Spain with the rest of Jurgen Klopp’s squad for Thursday’s semi-final first-leg against Villarreal.

Sakho decided not to challenge Uefa’s charge for an alleged anti-doping violation - reported to have been for a fat-burning drug - and has accepted a 30-day preliminary ban that will come off any suspension he is given once the case is resolved. Sakho is expected to have a Uefa hearing on Friday.

Sakho had enjoyed a strong run of form of late with Liverpool going on a five-match unbeaten run that has also seen them reach the Europa League semi-finals and offer the club one last chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

The former Paris Saint-Germain defender has faced questions over his suitability since arriving at Anfield in 2013, but under Klopp he has formed a strong partnership with Dejan Lovren that is keeping both Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure out of the side.

The club took the decision to drop Sakho from the matchday squad for last weekend’s visit of Newcastle, and he did not travel to Spain despite Uefa yet to impose a ban on the centre-back – something that they have now applied for an initial 30 days.

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