Juventus Midfielder Paul Pogba Hit With Four Year Ban For Doping

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, formerly of Manchester United, has been slapped with a four-year ban from football for a doping offence.

The 30-year-old France international was provisionally suspended in September after a routine drugs test post-Juventus’ season opener on August 20 revealed elevated levels of testosterone.

The decision, handed down by Italy’s national anti-doping tribunal (Nado), confirmed the failed drugs test through a second sample in October. The anti-doping prosecutor’s office had sought a four-year suspension, and Pogba has expressed his intention to appeal the tribunal’s ruling.

The ban, effective immediately and backdated to the date of the failed test, means Pogba will be sidelined until 2027 when he turns 33.

A Juventus spokesperson confirmed the notification from the tribunal, and sources indicate that Pogba maintains his innocence, suggesting any violation may have been inadvertent.

Pogba’s agent, Rafaela Pimenta, emphasized that the player never intended to break any rules during the initial suspension. Testosterone, a hormone enhancing athletes’ endurance, was the substance in question, leading Nado to assert that Pogba breached regulations by having prohibited non-endogenous testosterone metabolites in the test.

Pogba, who rejoined Juventus in July 2022 after leaving Manchester United as a free agent, has faced recurring injury setbacks since his return to Turin.

Despite signing a four-year deal with Juventus, Pogba’s playing time has been limited, and he missed the World Cup in Qatar last year due to persistent injuries.

In the current season, Pogba has played a mere 51 minutes as a substitute in games against Bologna and Empoli. His previous season stats include 108 minutes across six Serie A games, three Europa League appearances with one assist, and 11 minutes in the Coppa Italia, totalling 162 minutes with no goals.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi