Amidst reports that Liverpool centre-back Mamadou Sakho is the subject of an alleged anti-doping violation, club legend Jamie Carragher has weighed in with his own opinion on the matter.
Sakho was omitted from Jurgen Klopp’s squad shortly before their clash with Newcastle United on Saturday when news emerged that he was under UEFA investigation for the use of a fat-burning substance.
Reports also revealed that the Frenchman failed a drug test prior to Liverpool’s Europa League second-leg tie with Manchester United on March 17.
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Teammates and fellow professionals have since commented on said allegations, with Carragher expressing disappointed in Sakho.
He told Sky Sports News HQ: “It’s a nightmare for the player. I think he’s let himself down and the club badly, because he’s become a really important player.
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“There’s serious questions to be asked of him.”
Carragher believes the current circumstances are a particular shame because of how well Sakho has played at Anfield in recent months.
“He’s had a great campaign,” the 38-year-old continued. “He’s one of the leaders of the team now, certainly within that run, thinking about how well he played in the Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund games.
“It’s now how Liverpool fill that void. For a professional footballer, as in any sport, it’s not acceptable.”
Sakho hasn’t been banned by Liverpool but will not be selected for any match day squad until the investigation is up, which will come as a major loss to the Reds following the much-maligned defender’s recent upturn in form.
Should he be found guilty of doping, though, the France international could face a punishment similar to that of teammate Kolo Toure’s in 2011.
The Ivorian was handed an eight-month ban when found guilty of using fat-burning substances and says he knows exactly how Sakho feels.
He told the Guardian: “I don’t want to remember that because it has been tough for me. Right now I haven’t spoken to Mama, to be honest.
“I’ve been there and it has been really difficult, definitely. This is private but he knows what I think about him.”
Carragher continued to question whether more must be done to control doping in football.
“How much is enough, or too much?” he added. “As a player it would happen two or three times a season. People might say that’s not enough.
“But there seems to be a lot more of that going on in other sports, not something you’d expect from football.”
The verdict on Sakho’s alleged doping is due to be announced on Tuesday once UEFA have analysed his most recent tests.