Mamadou Sakho wins libel case with WADA over drug claims
"It’s not easy when you are a professional athlete and are accused of doping."
Mamadou Sakho will receive "substantial damages" after winning a libel action case against the World Anti-Doping Agency over false drug claims.
The Frenchman has spent four years trying to clear his name after testing positive for Higenamine, a substance commonly used in weight loss supplements.
He was given 30-day provisional ban from Uefa and claims the ban ended his hopes of making the France squad for Euro 2016, where France reached the final on home soil. He also never played for Liverpool again after the ban was imposed.
WADA apologised for making defamatory allegations to the press following Sakho’s successful appeal against the ban.
Speaking outside the court, Crystal Palace defender Sakho said:
“I feel happy. Happy for my family, for all my friends, for the people who were around me during those tough years. It’s not easy when you are a professional athlete and are accused of doping. It is the worst thing that can happen to you.
“I always believed in my lawyers, that’s my squad, my team. We always said the truth would take time to come out and I am happy Wada has said sorry. Now everything is behind me and I just want to look forward.”
In a statement posted to Twitter, Sakho said: "I am please with WADA's acceptance that I did not breach the UEFA anti-doping regulations, did not cheat, had no intention of gaining any advantage and acted in good faith.
"I consider myself vindicated and now look forward to continuing my career.
"Always fight to the end to defend your convictions!"
— Mamadou Sakho (@mamadousakho) November 4, 2020
Crystal Palace expressed their support for their player, tweeting: "We're with you, Mama."
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) November 4, 2020