On April 23rd, 2016, it was revealed that then Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho was under investigation for the violation of anti-doping bylaws. A few days later, following the return a positive test for a fat burner, he was barred from football for thirty days.
A month later, it was adjudged that the fat burner was not in fact on the banned substance list, and a month after that the case was dismissed by UEFA and the player was cleared. However, it’s probably fair to say his Liverpool career never fully recovered.
Today, Sakho won a libel case against the World Anti-Doping Agency for its role in his suspension in 2016, which saw the payer miss Liverpool’s Europa League final that season and then run afoul of manager Jürgen Klopp during the subsequent pre-season.
“I feel happy,” Sakho told reporters outside the court today following the decision. Happy for my family, for all my friends, for the people who were around me during those tough years. It’s not easy when you are a professional athlete and are accused of doping.
“It is the worst thing that can happen to you. I always believed in my lawyers, that’s my squad, my team. We always said the truth would take time to come out and I am happy WADA has said sorry. Now everything is behind me and I just want to look forward.”
As part of the settlement, WADA have been forced to pay damages and to apologise for “defamatory allegations.” Following his falling-out at Liverpool, Sakho joined Crystal Palace in January of 2017 and has since made 74 appearances for the London club.