In April 2016, former Liverpool player, Mamadou Sakho, was suspended from football after he failed a drug test after a Europa League game against Manchester United.
The French defender tested positive for fat-burner Higenamine, which was not on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list of banned substances. He was given a provisional 30 days suspension which saw him miss out on Liverpool’s Europa League Final defeat to Sevilla and, he claims the suspension also cost him a team place with the French team at the Euro 2016 tournament.
However, the ban was overturned by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), when it found out that the fat-burner, Higenamine was not on WADA’s list of banned substances. There was no certainty whether it was on the list or not. The UEFA tribunal said there were “significant doubts” whether Higenamine is on WADA’s banned list and said there had been a “clear lack of communication” from WADA about its status. UEFA went on to dismiss the case in July 2016.
In July 2019, Mamadou Sakho sued WADA for £13million, claiming the drug test blunder ended his career at Liverpool.
The French man never recovered his first-team place at Liverpool following the drug test error and later on, he was sold to Crystal Palace for £26m in 2017. It also cost him a place in the French national team. His lawyer claimed that the drug test error tarnished the player’s image too.
Three years later, WADA accepted Sakho’s case in full and apologized for making such defamatory allegations following Sakho’s successful appeal.
WADA released in a statement: “WADA retracts and apologizes 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.
“WADA regrets the damage the defamatory allegations caused to Mr. Sakho’s reputation and the distress, hurt and embarrassment caused to him. 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.”
The settlement brings to an end a four-year period in which Sakho sought to clear his name after allegedly testing positive
The French player published a statement on his Twitter page yesterday saying the case between him and WADA is closed. “An agreed statement in open court has been read out and my dispute with WADA is closed.
“I am pleased with WADA’s acceptance that I did not breach the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations, did not cheat, had no intention of gaining any advantage, and acted in good faith,” He added.
He also said that WADA has agreed to pay him a substantial sum in damages. “I am also pleased that WADA has apologized to me and agreed to pay a substantial sum in damages.”