Mamadou Sakho was dropped by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers earlier this season as he was overweight, according to reports.
Sakho was at the centre of controversy over the weekend after it was revealed that the defender had tested positive for a banned substance during a drugs test after Liverpool’s 1-1 Europa League draw with Manchester United on March 17.
The 26-year-old has not been banned by Liverpool or UEFA, but will not be selected in a Liverpool matchday squad until investigations into the test are complete.
Sakho has until Tuesday to respond to UEFA and ask for his ‘B’ sample to be analysed.
The defender will face a lengthy ban if the second test is found to have traces of the same fat-burning supplement Sakho was reportedly using.
According to Paul Joyce of the Daily Express, Sakho has struggled with weight issues throughout his career, and was even dropped by Liverpool at the start of this season for being overweight.
The France international was not in Liverpool’s squad for the first two games of the season against Stoke and Bournemouth, and made his first appearance in the Europa League against Bordeaux on September 17.
Sakho has been a crucial member of the Liverpool side since, playing 34 games and helping the club reach the Capital One Cup final and Europa League semi-final, but is now likely to miss the rest of the season, and could face the prospect of sitting out Euro 2016 this summer.
Teammate Kolo Toure suffered a similar plight in February 2011 when he was banned for six months after failing a drugs test while at former club Manchester City.
On that occasion he tested positive for endroflumethiazide, a weight-loss drug contained within ‘water tablets’ recommended to him by his wife.
“I don’t want to remember that because it has been tough for me. I don’t even want to talk about that because it is very hard,” said the former Ivory Coast international.
“Right now I haven’t spoken with Mama to be honest. I’ve been in there and it has been really difficult, definitely.
“This is private but he knows what I think about him.”