Soccer

Manchester City left Riyad Mahrez out of Communtiy Shield over fears of failed drugs test

Riyad Mahrez missed Manchester City’s Community Shield victory on Sunday due to fears he would fail a drugs test, Pep Guardiola has revealed.

The City winger returned from winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Algeria eager to play a part against Liverpool at Wembley.

But Guardiola was not prepared to risk naming Mahrez in his match day squad after the 28-year-old took unspecified medication during his time away from the club.

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City have been unable to determine whether Mahrez’s use of the medication would contravene doping regulations and so left him out as a pre-caution.

“Riyad called me just after being [crowned] champion with Algeria and said: ‘I want to come back in 10 days, I want to play against Liverpool’. I said: ‘You are more than welcome, it’s perfect you come’,” Guardiola said on Sunday.


Player ratings: Liverpool vs Man City





1/22 Alisson – 5

2/22 Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6

3/22 Joe Gomez – 6

4/22 Virgil van Dijk – 6

5/22 Andrew Robertson – 7

6/22 Fabinho – 6

7/22 Jordan Henderson – 6

8/22 Gigi Wijnaldum – 5

9/22 Mo Salah – 7

10/22 Divock Origi – 6

11/22 Roberto Firmino – 7

12/22 Claudio Bravo – 7

13/22 Kyle Walker – 7

14/22 Nicolas Otamendi – 7

15/22 John Stones – 6

16/22 Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7

17/22 Rodri – 7

18/22 Kevin De Bruyne – 6

19/22 Bernardo Silva – 7

20/22 David Silva – 7

21/22 Raheem Sterling – 7

22/22 Leroy Sane – N/A

1/22 Alisson – 5

2/22 Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6

3/22 Joe Gomez – 6

4/22 Virgil van Dijk – 6

5/22 Andrew Robertson – 7

6/22 Fabinho – 6

7/22 Jordan Henderson – 6

8/22 Gigi Wijnaldum – 5

9/22 Mo Salah – 7

10/22 Divock Origi – 6

11/22 Roberto Firmino – 7

12/22 Claudio Bravo – 7

13/22 Kyle Walker – 7

14/22 Nicolas Otamendi – 7

15/22 John Stones – 6

16/22 Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7

17/22 Rodri – 7

18/22 Kevin De Bruyne – 6

19/22 Bernardo Silva – 7

20/22 David Silva – 7

21/22 Raheem Sterling – 7

22/22 Leroy Sane – N/A

“But we don’t have what he took, about the medicine. That’s why, for doping control, today was a risk because the doctors didn’t have it. That’s why he wasn’t in the squad to play some minutes.

“He could have played some minutes but we could not take a risk because the doctors did not have exactly the medicines.

“Hopefully he will be back next game against West Ham and in the future everything will be normal.”

“Riyad called me straight after being champion and said he wants to be back against Liverpool,” Guardiola said on Sunday.

“I said he was more than welcome. But Riyad took some medicine just a little bit, but we don’t know what he took and therefore doping control today was a risk because the doctors did not know what was in the medicine. 

“So that’s why he did not play today. A guy who rested less, but could have played some minutes, but we could not take a risk because the doctors didn’t have the medicines or exactly what happened and we did not want to risk it. Hopefully at West Ham he will be fine.”

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