LONDON (AP) — Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he left Riyad Mahrez out of the Community Shield win against Liverpool over concerns the player could have breached doping rules as the club lacked full details of medication he used for a sinus issue.
The Algeria intentional only returned to training on Friday after leading his country to victory in the African Cup of Nations final last month.
Guardiola says “for doping control, today was a risk because the doctors didn’t have it (full details). 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.”
City beat Liverpool 5-4 in a penalty shootout on Sunday after the traditional curtain-raiser to the English season ended 1-1 in regulation time.