The World Anti-Doping Agency will not lodge an appeal against UEFA’s decision to dismiss proceedings against Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho after he failed a drugs test.
Sakho tested positive for higenamine – a fat-burning drug – after his side’s Europa League clash against Manchester United in March, and served an initial 30-day suspension.
UEFA confirmed in July that it would not impose a further punishment on the France international after a consultation with the player’s legal team and WADA-accredited laboratories, though there had been speculation that WADA itself could appeal against the decision following a review.
However, while the organisation supports higenamine’s place on the banned substance list, it has determined that a further sanction against Sakho would be unjustified given his “degree of fault” in the matter.
A WADA spokesperson told Omnisport: “With the support of its List Expert Group, WADA thoroughly reviewed the full [Sakho] case file along with recently published articles on higenamine. WADA supported the List Expert Group’s unanimous view that higenamine is a beta2-agonist and does indeed fall within the S3 class of the Prohibited List.
“However, after careful review of the specific circumstances of the case, WADA decided not to appeal. Mr. Sakho had already served a provisional suspension of one month and, given the circumstances of the case, it is uncertain whether a significantly higher sanction would have been justified and obtained based on the Code and, more specifically, Mr. Sakho’s degree of fault.”
Sakho had fully cooperated with UEFA’s initial investigation, but always vehemently denied deliberately attempting to contravene doping rules.
“I am happy that this is finally over,” he said in July after UEFA dismissed the case. “It’s been a difficult time for me but I knew I had done nothing wrong. I am looking forward to getting back in the team and playing again.”
Sakho has yet to make an appearance for Liverpool since being sent home from their pre-season tour of the United States for a breach of discipline.
Reports in England have linked him with a loan move away from Anfield, with Jurgen Klopp having bolstered his defence with the signings of Ragnar Klavan and Joel Matip.