Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho is facing a 12 month ban after he failed a UEFA drug test.

It was announced yesterday that the French defender had tested positive for a banned substance after Liverpool’s Europa League win against rivals Manchester United.

The substance was reportedly a ‘fat burner”, and Sakho, who is expected to request a B-sample in an attempt to clear his name, is unavailable for selection for the Reds while an investigation is underway.

Now the Mirror are reporting that Sakho, who joined Liverpool from Paris Saint-Germain back in 2013, is facing a 12 month suspension if his positive test is confirmed.

The maximum sentence for a UEFA doping violation is two years, however European football’s governing body have previously handed out bans of between 6-12 months for similar violations in the past.

Indeed, Liverpool defender Kolo Toure was suspended for six months for failing a drugs test while he was still with Manchester City back in 2011.

Liverpool said in a statement yesterday: “Yesterday, Friday 22nd April 2016, a formal communication was received from UEFA stating that they are investigating a possible anti-doping rule violation by Mamadou Sakho.

“The player will respond to UEFA on the matter.

Liverpool v Newcastle United - Premier League

“The player is currently not subject to any playing suspension. However, the club, in consultation with the player, has decided that while this process is followed the player will not be available for selection for matches. There will be no further comment at this time.”

Manager Jurgen Klopp refused to elaborate on the news when quizzed after Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against Newcastle yesterday in which his side threw away a two-goal lead.