Following Thursday’s UEFA hearing into doping charges against Mamadou Sakho for a failed drugs test following a March 17th Europa League match against Manchester United, today we finally have a final ruling, and it’s good news for player, club and fans.
Four months after the test and three after he was notified that he was involved in an open investigation, Sakho’s case has been dismissed. The French defender is now free to resume his career without the threat of a long-term suspension hanging over his head. This, at least, has to be seen as very good news.
“The proceedings against Mr. Sakho related to a violation of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations after the player failed a doping test,” read a UEFA statement. “Following a hearing with the lawyers of the player and experts of the WADA-accredited laboratories on this case, the CEDB has decided to dismiss the case.”
On the other hand, while many will celebrate Sakho being cleared, there will also be questions asked about the charges having been brought in the first place, and that Liverpool were deprived of Sakho’s services in the Europa League final against Sevilla with a chance at Champions League football on the line.
Liverpool lost that match, and as a result they will not play in Europe this season. And they lost that game with one of their key players wrongly ruled out due to a UEFA doping investigation. The player also missed out on the chance to represent France at the Euros this summer.
Still, for now at least, let’s focus on the positives. Mamadou Sakho has been cleared. The case has been dropped. That, at least, is very, very good news.