Mamadou Sakho: Liverpool defender to be investigated by Uefa after failing drug test

The 26-year-old defender was left out of the matchday squad for Saturday's game against Newcastle United

Mark Critchley
Saturday 23 April 2016 13:28
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Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho
Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho

Liverpool have confirmed Mamadou Sakho is being investigated by Uefa after failing a drugs test.

European football's governing body informed the Merseyside club that they are investigating a possible anti-doping violation by Sakho on Friday.

The 26-year-old defender was not included in the matchday squad for Saturday’s game against Newcastle United.

Sakho and the club have agreed that he will not be selected for the first-team while the process is ongoing.

Sakho is expected to request that his backup 'B' sample be tested by Uefa, while various reports state that the drug test took place after the Europa League second leg against Manchester United on 17 March.

Sakho in action against Manchester United on 17 March

The charge is a player-specific charge and Liverpool will face no punishment from Uefa as a club.

"Yesterday, Friday 22nd April 2016, a formal communication was received from Uefa stating that they are investigating a possible anti-doping rule violation by Mamadou Sakho," Liverpool's statement read.

"The player will respond to Uefa on the matter. The player is currently not subject to any playing suspension. However, the club, in consultation with the player, has decided that while this process is followed the player will not be available for selection for matches.

"There will be no further comment at this time."

The club did not name the substance in question, but unconfirmed reports by French news outlet RMC Sport suggest that the defender consumed a fat-burning substance for “personal and therapeutic use”.

Sakho has become a fan favourite at Anfield this season, having established himself as one of Jürgen Klopp's first-choice centre-backs.

In a statement released later, Uefa said: "Uefa would like to confirm the information communicated by Liverpool FC regarding an adverse finding in a doping test of their player Mamadou Sakho conducted at the Uefa Europa League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC on 17 March 2016 (1-1).

"The player and the club have received all the pertinent information and have until Tuesday to request the analysis of the B sample as well as to provide explanations for the presence of a prohibited substance in the player's body.

"There are no disciplinary proceedings opened at this stage."

The former Paris Saint-Germain defender was expected to represent France at this summer's European Championships.

Liverpool team-mate Kolo Toure was suspended six months by Wada for taking fat-burning pills while still at Manchester City in March 2011.

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