Shock as Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho fails a drugs test
Liverpool have been left reeling by the news that their defender Mamadou Sakho has failed a drugs test and he has been withdrawn from Saturday's game against Newcastle.
The Anfield club have confirmed that they have been informed of the investigation by UEFA officials, as they released this statement:
"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," it read. "The player will respond to UEFA on the matter.
"There will be no further comment at this time."
BREAKING: Liverpool leave out Mamadou Sakho due to pending anti-doping investigation. https://t.co/6JbTX4bVeD— Soccer Saturday (@SoccerSaturday) April 23, 2016
It is being reported that traces of slimming pills were found in Sakho's sample and the news is certain to rock Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ahead of his side's Europa League semi-final first leg against Villarreal next Thursday.
The offence his believed to have taken place during Liverpool's Europa League last-16 tie against Manchester United, but the Anfield club's future participation in this season's competition is not believed to be in any doubt.
The news will also bring into the spotlight the issue of doping in football, which has become an increasingly high profile topic in the sports media in recent months.