France and Crystal Palace defender Mamadou Sakho has accepted an apology and substantial damages from the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) over allegations he took banned performance-enhancing drugs.
Sakho was briefly suspended in 2016 after testing positive for a fat-burning substance called higenamine. But Uefa cleared him when it found that higenamine was not banned by Wada.
On Wednesday, Wada’s lawyer said the agency accepts it should not have made the defamatory allegations.
The 30-year-old also claims the suspension cost him a place in France’s Euro 2016 squad.
Sakho said: “I am pleased 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 am also pleased that Wada has apologised to me and agreed to pay a substantial sum in damages. I consider myself vindicated and now look forward to continuing my career.”
He added: “This is the worst thing you can be accused of, doping. Today is a big day for my story.”
The settlement brings to an end a four-year period in which Sakho has sought to clear his name. At the time, Sakho received a 30-day provisional ban from Uefa, and he never played for Liverpool again.
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By Ofhani Munyai