Following a failed drugs test, Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho had until the end of Tuesday, April 26th to request UEFA test his B sample, and the expectation was that he would do so. Which left many to wonder just what was going o when Tuesday came and went with no news of him doing just that.
It turns out, though, that the defender has decided to pass on the chance to ask for a second sample to be tested, which would seem to signal that Sakho believes there is no chance it would come back negative. It serves at least as an admission that, knowingly or otherwise, Sakho did use a product containing a banned substance.
Sakho gave two samples following Liverpool’s victory over Manchester United on March 17th, and last week he and the club were advised a banned substance had been detected in the A sample and an investigation had been opened, leading the club and player to agree he would be unavailable for selection while it was ongoing.
Instead of asking for the B sample to be tested, Sakho will argue mitigating circumstances in front of the investigation committee, and the hope will be both that they will look favourably on his decision not to ask for the B sample to be tested and that the investigation will be able to rule on his case sooner as a result.
In the meantime, though, Sakho will continue to be unavailable for selection, and he will not travel with the team to Spain for tomorrow’s Europa League semi-final first leg match against Villarreal. As yet, the club have made no public comment on the Sakho situation beyond acknowledgement that an investigation is ongoing.
Current teammate Kolo Toure found himself in a similar situation in 2011 while with Manchester City, when he began taking his wife’s diet pills in an effort to lose weight and failed a Premier League drugs test as a result. In his case, the English FA suspended him for six months as a result.