The governing body of football in Europe is investigating defender Mamadou Sakho over a possible anti-doping rule violation, according to his team Liverpool.
The Premier League Club has decided to leave out the France international while the probe is underway. Sakho has not been suspended over the potential violation.
Known for his tackling ability and his passing accuracy, the French professional footballer who plays for English club Liverpool and the France national team as a central defender was absent from the squad for Saturday’s league fixture against Newcastle United at Anfield.
French media reported that Sakho tested positive for a fat burner after the Reds' 1-1 draw against Manchester United in the Europa League on March 17. A statement on Liverpool’s website read a formal communication was received from the Union of European Football Associations on April 22, 2016 stating that they are investigating a possible anti-doping rule violation by Mamadou Sakho. The statement further reads that the player will respond to UEFA on the matter and he is currently not subject to any playing suspension but it was added 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 French footballer is expected to have his B-sample tested. It is believed that the 26-year-old centre-back was unaware of the composition of the weight loss supplement and has informed the club he acted in good faith. Sakho, who has formed a solid partnership alongside Dejan Lovren in recent times, could miss the Euro 2016 finals in France if he were found guilty and given a long ban.
Kolo Toure, the Liverpool teammate of Sakho, was suspended for a period of six months after he failed a drugs test while playing for Manchester City in February 2011. Toure had tested positive for Bendroflumethiazide, which is a weight-loss drug contained within “water tablets” and it was apparently recommended by his wife.
Toure expressed his sympathy for Sakho whom he ironically replaced Sakho in Jurgen Klopp’s side for Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Newcastle. Toure remarked it is really difficult for any player caught with a banned substance in their system by anti-doping testers.
Sakho is also known for his eccentric hairstyles he often displays while playing and has acquired the nickname The Beast because of his hairstyles. Sakho started his career at Paris FC before he moved to to Paris Saint-Germain's youth system in 2002 and became the youngest player ever to captain a Ligue 1 club on his league debut in October 2007. The footballer made more than 200 appearances for the club, winning all four domestic trophies. Sakho made his senior debut in 2010 against England and represented France at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Premier League club Liverpool announced Sakho's signing for a fee of £18 million on 2 September 2013 and he made his debut on 16 September 2013 against Swansea City in a 2–2 draw at the Liberty Stadium. Sakho scored his first goal for Liverpool in a 4–1 win at Anfield against West Ham United on 7 December 2013.