Sakho fails drug test
Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho is currently under investigation by UEFA over a failed drugs test.
The 26 year old Frenchman has reportedly been using a “fat burner” dietary supplement which enhances weight loss. The drug is used by athletes who want to stay in top physical form, to be able to perform at the peak of their abilities in the highest levels of professional sports.
However the rules on it’s use are not always clear to the people competing in these sports and Sakho may have been entirely unaware that a simple dietary supplement was against rules set by UEFA involving drug use.
It needs to be made clear that this professional footballer has without a doubt, not engaged in any use of “hardcore” illegal drugs such as cocaine or heroin and not any recreational drugs such as marijuana, either. The only drug which was alleged to have been used by Sakho is a completely legal (under the law) health enhancer, something which cuts down on weight gain for people who cannot afford to gain weight due to their highly competitive career choice that involves seriously active physical performances on a regular basis. He does not want nor has he been attempting to “get high” and that’s not what this drug is for. He just wants to stay in top physical shape, as any athlete would.
This is most likely all an honest mistake made because of the fact that the player and maybe even his doctor involved were both unaware of the rules set over it’s use. If a doctor prescribed them for him, the doctor also most likely would not be aware of what UEFA’s rules says professional footballers can and cannot take while competing in their sport. The doctor wants this person to stay healthy and assist them in their diet with a simple pill. Then the person takes the pill, with no idea that rules had been broken. It’s highly unlikely that Mamadou Sakho would knowingly engage in drug use that he is aware UEFA does not allow in his sport. Indeed, he submitted his routine drug test willingly and most likely thought that it was not going to be a failure.
Mamadou Sakho is a responsible father and certainly would not knowingly risk the future of his career and financial stability for his children at the cost of using a drug not allowed in his sport.
Although he has not been officially suspended at all, Sakho was removed from the squad selection entirely, just while the investigation is ongoing. He did not feature in the 2-2 draw with Newcastle at Anfield today, with Kolo Toure filling in at the central defence.
UEFA made brief comments on the situation and said “there are no disciplinary proceedings opened at this stage”. He will not yet face any ban (if any) until the investigation is complete and decisions have been made over a suitable course of action to take.
Sakho’s Liverpool team-mate Kolo Toure was banned for six months in 2011 while at Manchester City after testing positive for a weight-loss drug contained within “water tablets” which were recommended to him by Kolo’s wife. If Sakho was to face a 6 month ban just as Toure had for a similar offence, he would miss out on playing for Liverpool and also for France in the Euro 2016 competition coming up in the summer.
Liverpool’s season will continue and Sakho would still be eligible for playing in the away leg of our Europa League fixture against Villareal, though Liverpool’s club representatives seem to have “unofficially” decided that it’s best if he’s not playing during the investigation. The owners, manager Jurgen Klopp, chief executive Ian Ayre and even the player himself (Sakho was partially involved in the decision) all felt it was in the best interests for him not to be available for the duration of this process.
I personally wish to extend my support to this player over something which may yet be revealed to be an honest mistake and can hopefully be cleared up as soon as possible and avoided in the future. All the best for your future, Mamadou. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.