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There Has Been Yet Another Twist In The Mamadou Sakho Doping Case

Gavin Cooney
By Gavin Cooney
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Ben Rumsby of The Telegraph has done some superb reporting on the Mamadou Sakho saga which has led to serious concerns as to how fit the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) are to enforce anti-doping in sport.

UEFA's control, ethics and disciplinary body last week absolved Mamadou Sakho of taking any banned substances, having initially been suspended for allegedly testing positive for a prohibited fat-burner in the aftermath of Liverpool's Europa League tie with Manchester United. The official name of the substance in question is called higenamine, and the reason Sakho has not been suspended is because of serious confusion as to whether the substance is actually on WADA's list of banned substances.

There was a month-long gap between Sakho's taking of the test and being informed of his failing it, and this delay has been explained by an incredible level of confusion at WADA. Initially, the director of the WADA-accredited lab in Germany which tested Sakho's sample was of the understanding that the substance was not among the list of prohibited substances. Having then double-checked with the agency, he was told the agency deemed it to be something known as a beta2 agonist – a category of compounds which are prohibited – and was instructed to report a failed test.


The Telegraph understand that UEFA would never have sanctioned a suspension in the first place, but for the involvement of WADA.

Sakho has hired a lawyer on advice from Liverpool, who has discovered the science that could reasonably lead Wada to class it as a beta2 agonist was, according to The Telegraph, "far from robust". Sakho is understood to be considering legal action against WADA.

The report also states that Sakho is aware of the fact that not all WADA labs even test for higenamine.

Read the full report on The Telegraph website here.


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