Football

Wada to pay damages to Mamadou Sakho over wrongful drug ban

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has apologised and agreed to pay damages to French footballer Mamadou Sakho for a drug ban in 2016, sports website The Athletic reported yesterday.

The Crystal Palace centre-back, who was with Liverpool at the time, was investigated by Uefa and given a provisional 30-day ban in April 2016 after he tested positive for the fat-burner Higenamine.

Sakho missed that year's Europa League final against Sevilla and Euro 2016 as a result, but Uefa dismissed the doping case against him in July and later confirmed that Higenamine had not been on Wada's list of prohibited substances at the time.

Uefa also criticised Wada for the lack of clarity over the status of Higenamine, while Wada in turn released a statement rejecting Uefa's criticism.

The Athletic reported that a lawyer for Wada had apologised to the 30-year-old Sakho in open court in London yesterday.

"Wada retracts and apologises for the defamatory allegations made in the First Press Statement and the Second Press Statement," Wada's lawyer said.

"Wada accepts that it should not have made the defamatory allegations it did... given that Mr Sakho had been acquitted by Uefa."

Sakho did not play again for Liverpool after failing the drug test, and moved to Palace first on loan and then on a permanent deal. Wada and Palace did not immediately respond to a request for comment. - REUTERS

Football