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    Thursday, 5 November 2020

    Mamadou Sakho gets apology after former Liverpool defender's 2016 drugs ban

    The Reds defender was a regular in the Reds side under Jurgen Klopp when he was suspended for 30 days in April 2016

    Mamaduo Sakho.

    The World Anti-Doping Agency have issued an apology to former Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho for his drugs ban in 2016.

    The Reds defender was a regular in the Reds side under Jurgen Klopp when he was suspended for 30 days in April 2016 after testing positive for a fat-burning substance.

    The wrongful suspension wrecked the Frenchman's chances of featuring for Liverpool in the Europa League final against Sevilla the following month and he was left out of France's Euro 2016 squad also.

    In 2017, European football's governing body, UEFA, was heavily critical of Wada for their role in Sakho's suspension after he was cleared by the disciplinary committee because the substance in question, higenamine, was not on a prohibited list.

    It was revealed last year that Sakho was suing Wada for £13million in damages after the centre-back struggled to regain his place in Klopp's squad before he was loaned, and subsequently sold, to Crystal Palace.

    It was argued by Sakho's legal team that the £13m sum was what he had lost in earning potential after failing to regain his spot in the Reds team.

    Now, Wada have retracted what they call "defamatory allegations" and admitted that Sakho should never have had a case to answer during his time at Anfield.

    And the organisation have also confirmed they have paid "a substantial sum" to Sakho in damages.

    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.

    "To indicate the sincerity of this apology, WADA has agreed with its insurers to pay Mr Sakho a substantial sum of damages. WADA has also agreed to bear Mr Sakho’s reasonable costs."

    After returning to the fold at Liverpool following his suspension, Sakho fell foul of Klopp's discipline during a pre-season tour of the United States and was sent home by the manager .

    He then played out the rest of his time with the club's Under-23s before he joined Palace on loan in January 2017 before making the deal permanent at the end of the season.

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