French footballer Mamadou Sakho is suing World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for £13m over claims a drug test error in 2016 affected his career at Liverpool FC.
Sakho was provisionally suspended from football in April 2016 after he tested positive for a fat burning substance – higenamine, which was present in a dietary supplement he had taken. The 30-day suspension prevented him from playing Liverpool’s Europa League Final against Sevilla. Sakho also exclaims this affected his national team selection for the Euro 2016 tournament.
The defender, now at Crystal Palace since September 2017 was cleared by UEFA’s disciplinary body after it was found the substance found – higenamine, was not specified on WADA’s prohibited list. The UEFA tribunal said there was “significant doubts” whether higenamine is a “B2-Agonist” and that there had been a “clear lack of communication” from WADA about its status.
Sakho is now suing WADA for £13m which will cover the loss of earnings and personal worth he suffered as a result of the situation and leaving Liverpool. He is also suing on the basis of defamatory and false statements that were release by WADA to the media during the ordeal.
The governing body however denies negligence or that it owed Mr Sakho any “duty of care”, as well as claiming that higenamine was “one of the generic substances banned”. The body also claims Sakho’s transfer to Crystal Palace was in effect of other disciplinary factors, and not entirely related to the claimed act of WADA.