Paul Pogba could be suspended for four years after allegedly returning a positive drugs test. According to multiple reports, results from a doping test on August 20 say the France midfielder tested positive for testosterone.
Pogba has endured a miserable time on and off the pitch in the last 18 months. He left Manchester United on a free transfer at the end of the 2021/22 season after new boss Erik ten Hag decided against offering him a new contract.
He returned to Juventus, the club he joined United from for a then world-record fee of £89million in 2016. However, he had a nightmare first season back in Turin, making just 10 appearances in all competitions due to injury.
Pogba has returned to full fitness and came on as a substitute in Juve’s last two Serie A matches before the international break. However, he now faces the prospect of a lengthy ban due to an adverse finding from his drugs test.
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Italian media was awash with reports on Monday afternoon that Pogba had tested positive for testosterone. La Gazzetta dello Sport says the test in question occurred after Juve’s 3-0 win over Udinese on August 20, a game in which Pogba was an unused substitute.
Pogba faces a maximum ban of four years for taking the banned substance. Sport Mediaset claim he will be suspended by Juventus as a precaution and has three days to request counter-analysis of his results.
The same report says doping violations carry a maximum sentence of two years. However, that could be increased to four if it is proven he intentionally took the substance. If he tests positive with a second sample, Pogba face a hearing with the National Anti-Doping Tribunal in Italy – that is unless he admits to taking the substance intentionally.
Pogba has not yet made any public comment about the drugs test and Juventus have also yet to release a statement. The news comes as another major blow to Pogba who is attempting to get his playing career back on track. Only this week has he spoken out on criticism he has faced in the last year-and-a-half.
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In an interview with Al Jazeera, Pogba insisted he wanted to prove people wrong who had written him off. He said: “I want to make them eat their words. … I want to show them I’m not weak. They can talk bad about me. I will never give up.
“Football is very beautiful, but is cruel. People can forget you in one day. You can do something great, but the next day you are nobody.
“People are waiting for you, saying: ‘He’s done, his career is finished.’ You get these comments after scoring goals, and winning the World Cup. People forget it. So you have to prove all the time.
“You have to accept it, but nobody can be criticised like that. There are so many players that lost it mentally, they didn’t even want to play football anymore because of all the negative things.”
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