On Friday last week, UEFA announced that they were dropping Mamadou Sakho’s doping charges and that the Frenchman was totally exonerated of wrongdoing and is free to play once more…
The centre-back missed the end of last season after choosing to take a voluntary suspension, which meant he couldn’t play in the Europa League Final and was left out France’s Euro 2016 squad to boot.
However, Sakho’s lawyers successfully argued that the fat burner he ingested (without the club’s permission) wasn’t actually banned, and WADA officials agreed that it wasn’t their on the list of illegal substances.
Sakho’s defence team was led my Mike Morgan, the same man who argued Kolo Toure’s case in 2011. (Toure got a six month suspension, when two years looked more likely.)
Morgan is the leading doping, corruption and selection dispute lawyer in the country, having worked at an international law firm for eight years before setting up Morgan Sports Law in 2013.
Last year Legal 500 – a guide to the best legal firms – stated that: “Mike Morgan has unrivalled knowledge of doping and corruption, constantly winning cases that seem unwinnable,” the Echo reports.
As well as Sakho, Morgan has got Team Sky cyclist Sergio Henao Montoya, Sri Lankan cricketer Kusal Perera, Belarusian hammer thrower Vadim Devyatovskiy and Russian middle distance runner Tatyana Andrianova off doping charges when the odds were heavily stacked agains their favour…
It’s undeniable that Sakho chose the right man to fight his case, but the fact that the substance he took isn’t on WADA’s banned list suggests to us it can’t have been a particularly tricky case to win…
WADA officials didn’t even turn up to Sakho’s hearing last Thursday; they merely presented their case via an email – making the fact our defender missed so many important matches and had his reputation damaged by UEFA all the worse.
We expect him to sue UEFA, and would encourage him to do so.