Thread: Mamadou Sakho
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Old 04-11-20, 06:16 PM   #4442
Donald Buzzworth
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Sakho was playing well for us at the time and not being able to play in the final was, at the time, a big deal.

Exclusive: WADA apologise and pay damages to Sakho after drugs ban and statement

4 November 2020

Mamadou Sakho has received an apology from WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) after the 2016 drugs ban and subsequent media statements that he believes contributed to his exit from Liverpool, reports Matt Slater.

At an open court in London at 2pm on Wednesday, WADA’s lawyer read out an apology.

The Crystal Palace defender was also suing WADA for 13 million in damages, although details of any financial settlement remain private. WADA confirmed they had agreed to pay him “substantial” damages and his “reasonable” legal costs.

What happened?
Sakho was tested on March 17, 2016 following a Europa League game against Manchester United.

On April 23, 2016 Sakho was investigated by UEFA for violating an anti-doping rule after he tested positive for the fat-burner Higenamine. That was found in dietary supplement Alphamine, which he had previously taken.

While UEFA were investigating, Liverpool and Sakho agreed that he would not be available for team selection.

On April 28, 2016 Sakho was given a provisional 30-day ban from all European football, ruling him out of the Europa League final and France’s squad for Euro 2016, which was played on home soil.

The ban expired on May 28, 2016 after Higenamine was found to not be on the banned substance list. The case was dismissed by UEFA on July 8, 2016.

A year later, UEFA cleared him of intentional wrongdoing and criticised WADA for a lack of clarity on Higenamine’s status as a banned drug, pointing out that it wasn’t listed by name on the banned list at the time and was not routinely tested for at every accredited lab.

What did WADA do next?
They released a statement rejecting UEFA’s criticism.

A spokesperson said: “Higenamine has been considered prohibited ever since the 2004 Prohibited List, however it was expressly named (for the first time) on the 2017 List as an example of a selective and non-selective Beta-2-agonist.

“With regards to the case of Mamadou Sakho, WADA, with the support of its List Expert Group, thoroughly reviewed the full case file along with recently published articles on Higenamine.

“WADA supported the List Expert Group’s unanimous view that Higenamine is a Beta-2-agonist and does indeed fall within the S3 class of the Prohibited List. It was decided, however, after careful review of the specific circumstances of the case, that WADA not lodge an appeal.”

WADA could have appealed against UEFA’s decision to clear the player at the Court of Arbitration for Sport but chose not to.

What did WADA say on Wednesday?
WADA's lawyer apologised in court, saying: "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.

"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."

A spokesperson later added: "WADA confirms that it has settled the dispute with Mr. Sakho which has been the subject of some publicity since 2016.

"There has been no admission of liability, save as set out in the Statement in Open Court, which is a matter of public record.

"WADA will not be making any further statements in relation to its dispute with Mr. Sakho."

What is Higenamine?
Higenamine is a compound found in several plants that is widely used in sports and weight-loss supplements.

It is also on WADA’s banned list as a Beta-2 agonist, a group of drugs most commonly found in asthma medication.

These drugs dilate the airways and therefore help the intake of oxygen.

How did this affect Sakho’s future?
In August 2017 Liverpool sold the defender to Crystal Palace following a loan spell.

The 30-year-old blames WADA for that move, which hurt his commercial value, but WADA’s lawyers told a pre-trial hearing in London in January that Sakho had already fallen out of favour with manager Jurgen Klopp.

They cited a dispute over a pre-season tour.
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