By 90Min
July 24, 2019

Crystal Palace defender Mamadou Sakho is suing the World Anti Doping Agency to the tune of £13m after being suspended in April 2016 for testing positive for a fat-burning substance.

Sakho was subsequently handed a provisional 30-day suspension that meant the defender  missed out on Liverpool's Europa League final defeat to Sevilla, with the Frenchman claiming this cost him a place in his country's squad for the European Championships in 2016.

The former Reds defender was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing by UEFA, with the body finding that the substance - higenamine - was not actually on the banned list. As a result, the Palace centre half is now suing WADA, with his lawyers arguing that his earnings as a player and the worth of his personal brand have taken a huge hit after leaving the Merseyside outfit.

WADA have rebuffed such claims, denying responsibility for his transfer from Jurgen Klopp's side, instead stating the player's own disciplinary issues caused his exit.

Sakho's barrister, Stuart Ritchie QC, said of his client's case: "He missed games with the France team, had to foot lawyers' and scientists' bills and, ultimately, saw the end of his career with Liverpool and transfer to Crystal Palace," as quoted by Liverpool Echo.

"Although this is a distinguished Premier League club, it does not have the worldwide reputation or brand recognition of Liverpool FC with the value which this brings to a player, and his associated image rights. Only recently has he been re-selected to play for the French national team."

Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

WADA's barrister, Shane Sibbel, has refuted those suggestions, however, stating: "We say the loan and transfer to Crystal Palace in January 2017, and the non-selection for France, are events following the disciplinary proceedings and are not causally related to the claimed act of WADA."

The trial to conclude WADA's liability is yet to have a date, but it will take place before the issue of the amount of compensation is considered.

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