Mamadou Sakho will miss rest of season after receiving UEFA ban

SoccerBy Sunday World
Mamadou Sakho will miss rest of season after receiving UEFA ban

Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has received an inital 30-day suspension from UEFA as the governing body opens proceedings against the France international.

Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has been suspended for 30 days after UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against him following a doping violation, European football's governing body has announced.

Sakho decided yesterday not to challenge the results of his failed drugs test.

Press Association Sport understands that the France international opted not to request his B sample be tested ahead of Tuesday's deadline after his initial test revealed traces of a fat-burning substance.

The Liverpool centre-half was left out of the team's draw with Newcastle on Saturday after it emerged UEFA has flagged up an apparent anti-doping violation relating to a banned substance as a result of a test following the Europa League tie at Manchester United last month.

UEFA said in a statement on its website: "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."

Anfield great John Aldridge reckons that despite the loss of Sakho, Jurgen Klopp's men can still triumph in this season's Europa League.

Liverpool have refused to comment on Sakho's situation as allegations relate to the player only and they are unlikely to change this stance until the defender and UEFA have resolved the matter.

Sakho was not on the team's flight on Wednesday lunchtime for tonight's Europa League semi-final first leg in Villarreal.

The Anfield club previously confirmed that they had been informed of the investigation by UEFA officials, as they released this statement on Saturday:

"Yesterday, Friday April 22 2016, a formal communication was received from UEFA stating that they are investigating a possible anti-doping rule violation by Mamadou Sakho," it read. "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.

"There will be no further comment at this time."