Although it was expected that Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho would be given a rest as Liverpool drew with Newcastle United earlier in the day, the shock news that the French defender was left out of the match day squad after UEFA revealed that he had failed a drugs test was a surprising and unexpected revelation.
“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,” read the official statement from the club. “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.”
The failed test in question came after the Reds knocked bitter rivals Manchester United out of the Europa League on the 17th of March. Sakho, who has been in a rich vein of form, has yet to comment on the allegations and he’s not expected to until a B sample is provided and tested by the European governing body. The 26-year old has until Tuesday to respond. A ban for the defender would not only rule him out of the remainder of the season for Liverpool, but would certainly see him miss out on Euro-2016 for France.
“I could [comment] but I think you know already. It makes more sense it?s told in the perfect words, not by me, so that’s the official statement of the club,” said Reds boss Jurgen Klopp. “In respect of the situation and the player I should not say anything more. I don’t know enough to say more.”
More on this as it develops…