On Thursday UEFA released a report confirming the wrongful drugs ban of on-loan Crystal Palace star Mamadou Sakho last season. European football’s governing body was also heavily critical of the World Anti-Doping Agency in its report.
Sakho, who was given a 30-day ban last March, missed out on a crucial period in his career, and subsequently lost the chance to play in Liverpool’s Europa League final against Sevilla and the European Championships in his native France.
It has now been confirmed that the substance that showed up on Sakho’s test sample was Higenamine, which aids in the burning of fat, and is not on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list.
Speaking to The Guardian about his ordeal, Sakho revealed how upset he was to miss out on Euro 2016 in his home nation of France, as well as how he feels now knowing he was wrongfully accused of a failed test.
“I worked so hard to prepare myself for the European Championship, to help my country, to wear the France shirt in a tournament on home soil,” the defender said.
“Now I’ll never do that. Whatever they say or do, they cannot replace what they took away from me.”
“My lawyer can see what happens next but, for me, I focus on other things. I have learned in life you should never look back over your shoulder, wondering what might have been. That is the past.”
“Always look forward, at the next challenge. It’s life. Good and bad things happen, but my mentality is always to try and find a positive.”
“It is the only way to be and, today, I am really happy.”
Sakho has impressed since his January loan move to Palace, but he will unavailable to the Eagles and manager Sam Allardyce against parent club Liverpool due to the terms of his loan deal.
However his other performances over the season have helped Crystal Palace greatly in their fight against survival where they look relatively safe seven points clear with six games left to play.
He has impressed so much so that Palace manager Allardyce is very interested in signing the French defender permanently this summer.
When asked about Allardyce, Sakho said: “I’d only heard good things about the manager, and his being here helped make my decision easier.”
“I spoke with [Rubin Kazan midfielder] Yann M’Vila, who had worked with him at Sunderland last season, and he spoke so highly of the coach. He knows what he is doing, a top manager.”
UCL: Which team do you think will be crowned the champions of Europe this year?