Liverpool defender left out after failing drug test

Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has been left out of the squad for the league game against Newcastle United after he was tested positive for a banned substance by UEFA. It is believed that the banned substance was taken by Sakho as a part of a fat burning supplement, according to French radio station RMC.

It is still not clear whether Sakho will face a ban from professional football following his failed test. Liverpool FC have released the following statement on their website:

“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. The player will respond to UEFA on the matter.

“The player is currently not subject to any playing suspension. However, the club, in consultation with the player, has decided that while this process is followed the player will not be available for selection for matches.

“There will be no further comment at this time.”

After discussion between the club’s owners Fenway Sports Group, manager Jurgen Klopp and the player himself it was decided the centre-back should not play in the immediate future, even though he is still eligible for Premier League matches and Thursday’s Europa League semifinal first leg in Villarreal.

The France international was tested after the 1-1 draw with Manchester United in the Europa League round of 16 second leg tie on March 17. Sakho has until Tuesday to respond to the findings, but it is thought “highly likely” that Sakho will ask for a B sample to be tested.

It is a huge blow to the 26-year-old, who now stands to miss the Europa League semi-final against Villarreal and quite possibly the Euro Championships in the summer. Liverpool team-mate Kolo Toure was banned for six months in 2011 while a Manchester City after failing a drugs test for a similar infringement.

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