Mamadou Sakho’s failed drugs test saga has already had so many twists and turns and it could yet have another.
In April, it was reported that the Frenchman had failed a drugs test for testing positive for a fat burning substance and it was believed that he was facing a lengthy ban.
He was initially handed a 30-day suspension while UEFA continued their investigations meaning he missed the end of Liverpool’s campaign.
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However, last month, UEFA’s chief medical and doping officer Marc Vouillamoz revealed that it was actually Sakho that had requested that initial ban and they had simply agreed to his request. It was also reported that he would no longer face any further punishment from UEFA.
“Some substances cause an automatic suspension, others not. And in this case, the player wished to be suspended temporarily, of his own will, and UEFA acceded to his request,” Vouillamoz told L’Equipe.
Liverpool fans were loving the reports and it appeared that Sakho was set to return to the squad for the new season.
However, the Liverpool Echo are now reporting that the club are still waiting on official confirmation regarding the situation. The report states that Liverpool remain in the dark regarding the future of their centre-back.
Sakho’s 30-day ban ended last month and he is currently free to play competitive football. After his defence argued that the substance shouldn’t be on the prohibited list, UEFA have ordered their own disciplinary body to investigate the substance in question.
The Liverpool Echo believes that UEFA’s investigation could have a major impact on the club’s transfer plans. Jurgen Klopp is waiting patiently to discover if Sakho is punished to see if he needs to sign another centre-back this summer.
Martin Skrtel looks set to depart Anfield in the coming weeks and Kolo Toure has already been released.
That leaves the incoming Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Sakho as the only players in that position. But, if Sakho faces a ban of any sort, the German manager will be tempted to sign another central defender to cover him.
Return for next season?
Liverpool now face an anxious wait to discover if their defender will be sidelined for a long period or will be ready to face Arsenal at the Emirates on August 13 on the opening weekend of the Premier League.
Before it was revealed that Sakho had failed a drugs test, the former Paris Saint-Germain defender had established himself as a firm fan favourite on Merseyside. He scored an important second goal against Borussia Dortmund to complete the incredible 4-3 comeback in the Europa League and also bagged a goal in the Merseyside derby less than a week later.
Cries of ‘Sakho, Sakho, Sakho’ were heard echoing around Anfield every time he made a crunching tackle and Liverpool fans will be praying they can be chanting his name once again come the start of next season.