By Coral Barry
Liverpool have confirmed that Mamadou Sakho has tested positive for a banned substance and will not be available for selection for the foreseeable future.
The club issued a statement on Saturday afternoon after the French media reported that Sakho had been suspended after he was caught with a banned substance in his system.
The France international is said to have tested positive for a banned fat burner drug during a routine test ahead of the Premier League clash with Newcastle on Saturday.
RMC Sport claimed on Saturday afternoon that the defender had been provisionally suspended pending a Uefa investigation ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League showdown with Newcastle on Saturday.
Liverpool moved quickly to clarify the reports and revealed that although the player is not suspended from playing by Uefa, it has been mutually decided he will not feature while the investigation is ongoing.
A statement on the official Liverpool website read: “Yesterday, Friday 22nd April 2016, a formal communication was received from UEFA stating that they are investigating a possible anti-doping rule violation by Mamadou Sakho.
“The player is currently not subject to any playing suspension. However, the club, in consultation with the player, has decided that while this process is followed the player will not be available for selection for matches.
“There will be no further comment at this time.”
The news will almost certainly mean Sakho will miss Liverpool’s trip to Spain to face Villarreal in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final next Thursday.
In other Liverpool news, Sakho’s absence has thrown the club into a crisis ahead of the Villarreal clash.