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    Saturday, 7 November 2020

    Klopp sends message to Mamadou Sakho following defender's doping apology from WADA

    Sakho was given a formal apology this week for a wrongful suspension while at Liverpool in 2016


    Jurgen Klopp says he welcomes the public apology to Mamadou Sakho from the World Anti-Doping Association.

    And the Liverpool manager detailed his happiness for his former defender after the organisation's statement this week.

    Sakho received what have been described as "substantial damages" by WADA for wrongfully suspending him for 30 days during his time at Anfield.

    The centre-back, who was arguably in the form of his Liverpool career in April 2016, was banned for a month for allegedly taking a substance that was not on WADA's prohibited list.

    As a result of the suspension, Sakho missed the 2016 Europa League final where the Reds were beaten 3-1 by Sevilla before being left out of France's squad for that summer's European Championships.

    In July 2016 Sakho was cleared by UEFA after it found that higenamine was not prohibited by WADA and the defender has since attempted to sue the company for £13million due to loss of potential earnings as a Liverpool player.

    Asked what his reaction was to the news on Wednesday, Klopp said he was pleased to see the Crystal Palace defender have his name cleared completely.

    "My initial thought was ‘finally!’" Klopp said.

    "We all knew it for a long time already that Mama did nothing wrong. It was a massive, massive blow.

    "Not only couldn’t he play the Europa League final, but he couldn’t play in the Euros as well if I’m not mistaken.

    "I’m really happy for Mama that he got at least now the evidence that he did nothing wrong and it’s a very important thing."

    Sakho fell foul of Klopp's discipline in the summer of 2016 and was sent home from a tour of the United States, before playing out the rest of his career at Anfield for the Under-23s.

    Those circumstances, however, were not related to the suspension and Klopp said he has never seen a doping issue in his football career.

    He added: "Doping is a problem, yes. But I never really saw it as a problem in football because I’m 30 years in it and never was in contact with any kind of it.

    "And if [there is], it’s because somebody made a silly decision not because they wanted to improve his recovery time or whatever.

    "These were the doping cases I heard about, never was involved in. If you carry around the mark that you did doping, especially when you didn’t do it, that’s massive.

    "So I’m really happy he’s freed of all of these things."

    A statement in an open court on Wednesday read: "WADA retracts and apologises for the defamatory allegations made in the First Press Statement and the Second Press Statement.

    "WADA accepts that it should not have made the defamatory allegations it did in the First Press Statement and the Second Press Statement given that Mr Sakho had been acquitted by UEFA.

    "WADA accepts that Mr Sakho did not breach the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations, did not cheat, had no intention of gaining any advantage, and acted in good faith.

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