Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has spoken out on the ban that saw him miss the Europa League final and Euro 2016 last year.
The France international tested positive for the substance higenamine after the 1-1 draw with Manchester United in the Europa League last sixteen last year – a substance which, it transpires, was not on World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list.
He sat out the final couple of months of the 2015/16 season before the case against him was dropped by UEFA and he is not happy about the situation.
“I worked so hard to prepare myself for the European Championship, to help my country, to wear the France shirt in a tournament on home soil.” he told The Guardian.
“Now I’ll never do that. Whatever they say or do, they cannot replace what they took away from me.
“My lawyer can see what happens next but, for me, I focus on other things. I have learned in life you should never look back over your shoulder, wondering what might have been. That is the past.
“Always look forward, at the next challenge. It’s life. Good and bad things happen, but my mentality is always to try and find a positive.
“It is the only way to be and, today, I am really happy.” he added.
Sakho will not be eligible to play for Crystal Palace at Anfield on Sunday, but he has spoken positively about manager Sam Allardyce.
“I’d only heard good things about the manager, and his being here helped make my decision easier.” he said of the ex-England boss.
“I spoke with Yann M’Vila, who had worked with him at Sunderland last season, and he spoke so highly of the coach.
“He knows what he is doing, a top manager.” he finished.