Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has been suspended by UEFA for 30 days as they opened disciplinary proceedings into a failed drugs test.
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UEFA say the suspension is provisional and a final decision will be made by European soccer’s governing body courtesy of their control, ethics and disciplinary body.
Sakho, 26, had been made unavailable for Liverpool at the weekend after it was revealed that the France international had tested positive for a ban substance following Liverpool’s UEFA Europa League game at Manchester United on March 17.
It is thought that Sakho used some kind of fat burner which included banned substances and the former Paris Saint-Germain has chosen not to appeal the charges imposed on him by UEFA.
Below is the statement released by UEFA in full:
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 17 March.
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.
Since Jurgen Klopp arrived at Anfield, Sakho has become an increasingly important figure in central defense.
However, with a 30-day ban now imposed by UEFA and potentially much longer than that after the investigation has run its course, the Reds could lose their towering central defender for quite some time.
Liverpool won’t be the only team hit by this suspension. Didier Deschamps would have been looking to include Sakho in the French national team’s 23-man squad for the 2016 European Championships in France this summer.
Even if Sakho is cleared after the initial 30-day suspension it seems unlikely he will be included by Les Bleus with no game-time under his belt leading up to the tournament.