Having had his reputation hugely damaged by a drugs ban towards the end of last season, UEFA have now revealed that Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho did in fact do nothing wrong.
Whilst the Frenchman is now back in the spotlight for all the right reasons at Selhurst Park, the saga surrounding his “failed” drugs test led to him being overlooked by both Liverpool and his country, neither of whom have played him since the scandal first made its way into the news.
The level of incompetence shown by both UEFA and WADA (The World Anti-Doping Agency) in this specific case is rather staggering, particularly when you consider the shadow their mistakes have cast over the career and integrity of a truly world class professional sportsman.
I’m sure the next few weeks will see a fair bit of blame shifting from all of the separate parties involved but in many ways, the damage that has been done to Sakho’s reputation can never be reversed. Admittedly, we have benefited directly from this unfortunate turn of events by getting a player of his calibre on loan but with Liverpool seemingly keen to shift him from their books in the summer, the man himself has every right to feel angry at the manner in which things have played out.
Regardless of our vested interest in the story itself, the whole saga does leave you wondering about the levels of professionalism being shown within the anti-doping field. As something which can have such a massive impact on the lives of the individuals directly involved, as well as their teammates and all the staff and fans of the club they represent, it surelygoes without saying that a greater degree of care is necessary when administering the tests.
I would call the whole thing a comedy of errors but in truth, it’s far from amusing on any level.