Back in March, star Liverpool center-back Mamadou Sakho tested positive for taking a fat burner that was considered an illegal substance. Now, after a series of fascinating developments in this ongoing saga, Sakho's UEFA-enforced purgatory appears to be coming to an end. His hearing is scheduled for this Thursday in Paris, where he will finally discover his fate following a lengthy investigation into the allegations.
Once Sakho declined to have his B sample tested back in March, he was slapped with a 30-day provisional ban, which the player himself may or may not have suggested in order to ensure that his club and country appeared above reproach as things progressed. This ban, coming when it did towards the end of the season, was detrimental to Sakho's career as well as his reputation. He missed out on the hugely important end to Liverpool's season, and couldn't represent France in the European Championship, which must have been particularly poignant given the tournament is being played in France. The 30-day ban has since expired, but now Sakho faces an official sanction at the conclusion of UEFA's investigation.
His legal team made the argument that the substance in question didn't deserve to be on the banned substance list, given its specific effects. If the UEFA officials fail to accept this defense, Sakho could be facing another longer ban -- anywhere from six months to as long as two years.
For good or ill, Sakho and LIverpool will be learning UEFA's decision very soon. If Sakho does end up facing a lengthy ban, then it will require a change in Liverpool's summer transfer strategy, as another center-back will more than likely be necessary to Klopp.