Although the case remains on file with UEFA, Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has been cleared to play at Euro-2016 after the European governing body declined to extend the 30-day provisional ban levied against the French defender after he popped positive for a banned substance in a routine drug test.
Having failed to challenge the decision initially after a fat burning substance was found in his sample following the Reds Europa League Round of 32 meeting with Manchester United back in March, the 26-year old looked set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after missing out on the summers showpiece event. In a strange twist, UEFA has opted not to extend his original ban and will instead review if the supplement Sakho was taking should even be on the banned list at all.
“The 30-day provisional suspension ends today. The chairman of the control, ethics and disciplinary body decided not to extend it,” read a UEFA statement. “The player would thus be free to play as from tomorrow. A decision on the case will be made within the next few days.”
That, of course, still leaves him on the hook — the charges against him have not been dropped entirely, but he’s now free to play and could be selected by France boss Didier Deschamps should he want to take a chance that no further sanction will fall on the Liverpool defender. UEFA has now pushed back a decision on a disciplinary hearing and will review whether or not the substance should be on the Wada list at all. While he initially declined to contest the charges or have his B-sample tested, Sakho’s legal team was apparently ready to fight the charges based on scientific evidence on the effects of the fat burning substance in the supplement. That might sound a bit weak, but apparently it worked.
More on this when UEFA makes up it’s mind…