Red alert: Sakho is struggling with knee problems

By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Dietmar Hamann has revealed his disappointment at Mamadou Sakho over an alleged anti-doping violation and claims he deserves a lengthy suspension.

The France international, 26, is being investigated by UEFA for failing a drugs test prior to the Merseysiders’ Europa League tie against Manchester United on 17 Match.

The centre-back has not been banned by Liverpool but will not be selected during the investigation, which is understood to be into the use of a substance used to burn fat and build lean muscle.

Sakho will not challenge the results of the test and UEFA will now decide on a punishment for the player.

According to the governing body’s rules, Sakho could be banned for up to two years, crushing his hopes of playing at Euro 2016 in his homeland and also leaving his medium-term future in considerable doubt.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

Liverpool legend Hamann delivered a typically forthright response to learning that Sakho had failed a drugs test.

Speaking on the Colin Murray show on talkSPORT on Wednesday afternoon, the Champions League-winning former midfielder said: “I don’t think they should let him off with a minimum ban. He failed a drugs test and it is his fault.

“As a player, you are warned on an almost daily basis. The doctor tells you: ‘if you do take anything, let us know because it could be eye drops, a nasal spray, there could be something in it that is banned’.

“I have got no sympathy for the guy and if he were to get a two-year ban I don’t think you could argue with it.”

Sakho has formed an increasingly solid centre-back partnership with Dejan Lovren over the last few months and it has been key to the turnaround in Liverpool’s form, which has put them on the verge of ending Jurgen Klopp’s first season with some silverware.

Kolo Toure deputised for Sakho in last Saturday’s 2-2 Premier League draw against Newcastle and is contention, along with midfielder Lucas Leiva, to partner Lovren at Villarreal.

In other Liverpool news, Steve Nicol has identified who his former club will sign to replace Christian Benteke in the summer.