Mamadou Sakho has accepted UEFA’s finding of a banned substance in the ‘A’ sample he submitted after Liverpool’s 1-1 Europa League draw with Manchester United on March 17.
A fat-burner is understood to have triggered the positive result, and the 26-year-old informed the governing body of his decision on Tuesday, when he also provided explanations for the presence of the prohibited product.
Liverpool will not comment on the matter as it is a process between the player and UEFA, and will only offer a position once the undertaking is resolved.
Sakho’s case will be dealt with by UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body and his mitigation will be taken into consideration during the investigation.
Due to the strict liability stance which underpins the doping policy, the France international will have to satisfactorily explain how a prohibited substance was found in his sample. The burden of proof is solely his.
A hearing will be set and Sakho faces an anxious wait to discover the punishment he will face. In the meantime, per a joint-decision between the defender and the club, he will remain unavailable for selection during the process.
Team-mate Kolo Toure escaped the minimum two-year sentence for a first-time offence while at Manchester City in 2011 when he took diet pills that contravened the rules. The Ivorian was dealt a six-month ban instead, with an independent regulatory commission stating: “The player accepted he was at fault and with that concession we agree.
“He was at fault in the limited and perfunctory efforts he made in relation to the water tablets; the checks he made in relation to those tablets were inadequate and fell some way below what it would be reasonable to expect of a professional footballer in these circumstances.”
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