Despite having gotten his hearing in front of a UEFA disciplinary board today, sources claim Mamadou Sakho will learn the results of his doping case "in due course, but not before next" week, leaving his future in doubt as Liverpool prepare for their first pre-season match.
The hope had been that with UEFA withdrawing his earlier provisional suspension and the revelation that the substance Sakho took either wasn’t or shouldn’t have been on UEFA’s banned list, the hearing at this point would have been little more than a formality and his future would now be resolved.
Earlier in the week, however, UEFA insisted that withdrawing his provisional ban wasn’t a guarantee that Sakho was off the hook, and that a lengthy suspension remained possible. The hope amongst Liverpool fans—and one imagines the club and player, too—was this was little more than posturing.
That it was little more than an attempt by UEFA to make it look as though they took any such doping charges seriously, as well as to push back against the growing belief that, based on what was being said, it appeared that Sakho perhaps should not have even been banned in the first place.
Earlier, UEFA had tried to cast themselves in a better light by highlighting the fact that Sakho had requested his initial ban, an action it was widely believed he undertook in order to cast his defence in a more positive light—similar to turning down the chance to have his B Sample tested.
Yet with the case continuing to grind along and the final word once again delayed from this Thursday to some time next week, the player and club and fans are left to wait and hope. To hope that earlier reports that Sakho was all but formally cleared and just waiting for it to be made official were true.
To hope that conflicting reports about the exact nature of the banned substance that might not actually have been banned by UEFA, or might not have been banned in the form Sakho took it in, or just shouldn’t have been, were true. Hopefully, in the end and after waiting just a little while longer, they will be.
And hopefully by next week we actually will get some resolution.