UEFA have officially opened up investigations against Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho.
European football’s governing body have provisionally suspended the Frenchman for an initial period of 30 days till the completion of the proceedings against him.
The French International was charged with anti-doping violations last week when tests conducted after Liverpool’s 1-1 draw at Manchester United during the Europa League round of 16 tie last month, revealed the presence of a banned fat-burning substance in his body.
The news comes only hours before the Reds take the field at the El Madrigal for their Europa League semi-final tie against Villarreal. Sakho, however, hasn’t travelled with the Liverpool squad to Spain having established a mutual understanding with the club to keep himself out of selection until UEFA completes its investigation in the matter.
An official statement on UEFA’s website read, “Disciplinary proceedings have been instigated against Liverpool FC player Mamadou Sakho, following the UEFA Europa League round of 16 second-leg match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC (1-1), played on March 17.”
“The proceedings relate to a violation of the UEFA anti-doping regulations, after the player failed a doping test at the above-mentioned match.”
“The player did not request the analysis of the B sample. UEFA has now suspended the player provisionally for 30 days until a final decision is taken by the UEFA control, ethics and disciplinary body.”
“The date of the disciplinary hearing will be announced at a later stage.”
Sakho’s career has taken a turn for the worse following doping scandal
Since the Manchester United game, the defender featured in the two quarter-final fixtures against Borussia Dortmund and even scored in the dramatic 4-3 2nd leg comeback win over the Germans.
The provisional suspension keeps slim hopes of a Euro 2016 appearance for Sakho alive, however history in this regard doesn’t give the France international too much to cheer about. His Liverpool team-mate, Kolo Toure was subject to a six-month suspension by Manchester City in 2011 for a similar offence. Experts on the matter claim the extent of Sakho’s offence could potentially land him even a two year ban should he be convicted by UEFA.
Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp have remained quiet on the matter and have offered to comment only after the disciplinary proceedings against the centre-back are complete.
The 26-year-old has played a crucial part in Klopp’s bid to revive Liverpool’s current season that was set for abject mediocrity. Their end of season form in Europe and the Premier League has got all of the red half of Merseyside buzzing. The Reds will turn to the experienced Kolo Toure to carry the baton till the end of the season as the Reds hope to potentially end the season with some silverware.