Liverpool centre-back Mamadou Sakho has been cleared for duty after a UEFA hearing ruled no further punishment for a failed drug test.
Sakho tested positive for a suspected fat-burning drug in March, but after an initial 30-day suspension, UEFA pulled a dramatic U-turn in opting not to extended his spell on the sidelines.
This still left the France international in limbo, however, with the European football governing body investigating whether the substance should be on their banned list.
But after a hearing with UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary board in Paris on Thursday, Sakho was cleared to return to action on Friday night.
UEFA’s official statement confirmed Sakho’s liberation, with the CEDB opting to dismiss the case:
The independent UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) met in Paris and has reached a decision relating to the proceedings instigated against Liverpool FC player Mamadou Sakho, following the UEFA Europa League round of 16 second-leg match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC (1-1), played on 17 March 2016.
The proceedings against Mr. Sakho related to a violation of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations after the player failed a doping test at the above-mentioned match. Following a hearing with the lawyers of the player and experts of the WADA-accredited laboratories on this case, the CEDB has decided to dismiss the case.
The 26-year-old is now free to return to action, and could take part in Liverpool next pre-season fixture away to Fleetwood Town on July 13.
With Sakho having missed the Europa League final and this summer’s European Championship in his home country, it remains to be seen whether either Liverpool or the player will pursue compensation.
For Reds manager Jurgen Klopp, Sakho’s return will be a major boost, leaving the former Paris Saint-Germain captain free to join the German’s defensive ranks.