Friday 15 December 2017

Liverpool suspend Mamadou Sakho for failed drug test

Mamadou Sakho, pictured, has been a regular at the back under Jurgen Klopp
Mamadou Sakho, pictured, has been a regular at the back under Jurgen Klopp

Carl Markham

MAMADOU Sakho will not play for Liverpool while UEFA are investigating his failed drugs test, the club have confirmed.

UEFA contacted Liverpool to inform them that they would be launching an investigation ‘a possible anti-doping rule violation’ by the player.

While the Anfield club claimed in a statement that the 26-year-old had not been suspended from playing but, in effect, that is the case.

It is thought that Sakho tested positive for a ‘fat burning drug’, which he used for personal reasons, and he has alleged claimed to be have been unaware of its illegality.

“Yesterday, a formal communication was received from Uefa stating that they are investigating a possible anti-doping rule violation by Mamadou Sakho,” read a club statement. “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.”

It is understood the positive test was taken after the clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Europa League.

The club have been pro-active in their response to the alleged doping violation - consulting fully with UEFA and the Football Association - and while Sakho is technically still available to play it was felt the best course of action was to withdraw the player from selection and it is understood Sakho himself was fully behind the decision.

There will be no disciplinary action for the club to face - that can only kick in if two players in same season are found to have had doping violations - and there is absolutely no risk to their continued participation in the Europa League.

Sakho's fellow central defender Kolo Toure was suspended for six months after failing a drugs test while at former club Manchester City in February 2011 having tested positive for bendroflumethiazide, a weight-loss drug contained within "water tablets" recommended to him by his wife.

The club do 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.

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

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