Pep Guardiola: Riyad Mahrez took unknown medicine with Algeria

Pep Guardiola has revealed that Riyad Mahrez was left out of Manchester City’s squad for the Community Shield victory over Liverpool after concerns about medicine the attacker took while on international duty with Algeria.

Riyad Mahrez was left out of Manchester City’s squad for their Community Shield victory over Liverpool after concerns about medicine the attacker took while on international duty with Algeria.

The winger had asked to return to the team after being given extra time off due his involvement in Algeria’s triumphant African Cup of Nations success.

City boss Pep Guardiola explained this request was rejected as the club’s medical team didn’t know what substance the 28-year-old had taken.

Guardiola explained: “Riyad called me just after being crowned champions with Algeria, he 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 was seen talking to the attacker before the game, but Mahrez didn’t feature in the squad over fears he could breach doping regulations.

The Spaniard added: “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.

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

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