As failed drug tests go, the case of Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho was a thoroughly bizarre one.
The French international defender tested positive for a banned substance, later revealed to be a fat burner, as a drug test was carried out after Liverpool’s 1-1 Europa League draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford in March.
To spare the possibility of the club being sanctioned, Sakho declined to have the B test sampled, and instead asked that UEFA suspend him for the mandatory 30 day period while the investigation continued.
However, the 26 year old maintained his innocence throughout – arguing that while he did take the drug, it had no place being on UEFA’s list of banned substances.
Fears for a long ban for Sakho were assuaged when that initial ban expired without extension – though it still cost him a place in the Europa League final, as well as involvement with the France squad at Euro 2016.
After a special hearing on Thursday, UEFA have today confirmed that Sakho will face no further action and is free to continue his career with both club and country.
In a brief summary of their findings, The Independent UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) found that Sakho had no case to answer for, saying:
“The CEDB met in Paris and has reached a decision relating to the proceedings 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 17 March 2016.
“The proceedings against Mr. Sakho related to a violation of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations after the player failed a doping test at the above-mentioned match. Following a hearing with the lawyers of the player and experts of the WADA-accredited laboratories on this case, the CEDB has decided to dismiss the case.”
While this finding does potentially open the door for either Sakho or Liverpool to seek compensation from UEFA, Jurgen Klopp’s immediate concern will be having the player ready for the new season.
With Kolo Touré already having left the club and Martin Skrtel on the verge of joining him out the exit door, Sakho will be fighting with Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and new signing Joel Matip for the centre back spots.