Mamadou Sakho’s footballing future may not be so quiet after all, as the Liverpool Echo explains:
Mamadou Sakho could make an unlikely appearance at next month’s European Championships for France.
UEFA has delayed a hearing regarding the Liverpool defender’s failed drugs test and opted not to extend the provisional 30-day suspension issued last month.
The ECHO understands that Sakho’s defence questioned whether the substance he had taken should even be on the prohibited list – leading to UEFA ordering their own disciplinary body to first investigate whether the substance should even be on the World Anti Doping Agency’s list.
Liverpool have declined to comment on the situation until the process is concluded.
It means that Sakho could still join up with Didier Deschamps’ French squad for the European Championships in his home country, with the deadline for the squad submittal May 31.
Defenders Jeremy Mathieu and Raphael Varane have already withdrawn from the squad through injury, and although a replacement has already been called up in Lyon’s Samuel Umtiti, Deschamps could still choose to call up the Reds defender to his final 23-man squad.
A UEFA statement said: “The 30-day provisional suspension ends today. The chairman of the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body decided not to extend it. The player would thus be free to play as from tomorrow. A decision on the case will be made within the next few days.”
What I find staggering about this latest turn of events is that UEFA and WADA feel they have to investigate their own banned list. The time to question whether a substance should be on the banned list is before you actually put it on the banned list, not after. When it comes to drugs in sport both UEFA and WADA should be a strict authority that clearly states what is and isn’t acceptable, both for the sake of the sportsmen and the sport itself. The fact they’ve let grey areas creep into their judgement may be advantageous for Sakho, although his ultimate fate still remains unclear, but it undermines both organisations in their efforts to clean up sport.