Paul Pogba Denies Doping Allegation, To Appeal Four-Year Ban

France star Paul Pogba has been handed a four-year ban from football by Italy’s anti-doping tribunal after testing positive for testosterone last August, his club Juventus said on Thursday.

A spokesman for the club told AFP it had been notified of the decision against the 30-year-old World Cup winner, who had been provisionally suspended in September.

“We received notification from the tribunal this morning,” the spokesman said. Italy’s anti-doping body did not immediately respond when contacted by AFP.

Pogba announced he would appeal the ruling, which risks bringing a premature end to his career.

“I am sad, shocked and heartbroken that everything I have built in my professional playing career has been taken away from me,” he posted on Instagram.

Declaring the verdict was “incorrect”, he denied ever using performance-enhancing substances.

“When I am free of legal restrictions the full story will become clear, but I have never knowingly or deliberately taken any supplements that violate anti-doping regulations”, he insisted.

“As a consequence of the decision announced today, I will appeal this before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”

The ban means Pogba will not be able to play again until the 2027/28 season, by which time he will be 34.

Anti-doping prosecutors had called for the four-year ban to be imposed on the former Manchester United midfielder, who tested positive following Juventus’s opening match of the Italian Serie A season against Udinese on August 20, during which he was an unused substitute.

A month later a B sample confirmed the presence of testosterone, and he has been provisionally suspended since.

Pogba’s representatives said the testosterone came from a food supplement prescribed by a doctor he consulted in the United States.

The ban could have been limited to two years if Pogba had been able to prove he was not at fault, or even just a few months if the use of the substance took place “out of competition and (was) not related to his level of performance”.

Pogba, who returned to Juventus for a second spell in 2022 after six years at United, was a key member of the France team that won the World Cup in Russia in 2018, scoring in the final against Croatia.

His positive doping test came as he was trying to put behind him a difficult first season back at Juve, in which he struggled with fitness problems and made just 10 appearances, while also missing France’s defence of the World Cup in Qatar due to injury.

He made two substitute appearances for Juventus at the start of this campaign before being suspended.



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