Mamadou Sakho could be charged by the UEFA on grounds of anti-doping violations with reports emerging from France claiming the defender consumed fat burning drugs that are deemed illegal by the governing body of European football.
French news outlet RMC Sport broke the news out early this afternoon about Mamadou Sakho’s failed drug test while also stating that Liverpool had indefinitely suspended him. However, the club has since released an official statement and maintained that while Sakho hasn’t been suspended, he will not be considered for selection till UEFA’s investigation on the player is complete.
The official club statement read, “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.”
“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”
While this rules him out of Liverpool’s game today against Newcastle United, the duration of the investigation could well rule him out of Thursday’s crucial Europa League semi final clash against Villarreal. Fellow defensive partner Kolo Toure was charged with a similar offence when the Ivorian was at Manchester City, for which he was banned for six months by the club. Liverpool fans will hope the extent of Sakho’s offence isn’t as serious and will anxiously await the verdict of UEFA on the matter.
The French international has the option of submitting a request for a B sample to be tested as part of a response claiming his innocence, as far as the Anti-doping violation is concerned. A potential UEFA conviction on doping grounds could not only rule the defender out for the rest of the season with Liverpool, but could also put his appearance at the Euro 2016 in jeopardy.
These developments will obviously come as a disappointment to Jurgen Klopp who had only recently found a solid defensive pairing in the Frenchman and Dejan Lovren. The center-back duo have been crucial to Liverpool’s recent form with the club in the run for European glory and a late surge in the Premier League. Sakho’s ouster adds to the club’s recent list of players ruled out, with injuries being the main culprit with the likes of Emre Can, Jordan Henderson and Divock Origi have all been forced out for the rest of the season. The absence of the Frenchman for selection could mean Klopp will make do with Lovren pairing up with either Lucas, Kolo Toure or an out-of-sorts Martin Skrtel at the back.