Wednesday, 17 April

Paul Pogba banned for four years for doping

Sports News
Paul Pogba made 233 appearances during two spells with Manchester United before re-signing for Juventus in 2022

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has been banned from football for four years for a doping offence.

The former Manchester United player was provisionally suspended in September after a drugs test found elevated levels of testosterone in his system.

France international Pogba, 30, was randomly tested after Juventus' first match of the season on 20 August.

BBC Sport has been told Pogba is likely to appeal against Italy's national anti-doping tribunal's (Nado) decision.

The failed drugs test was confirmed by Nado in a second sample in October, and the anti-doping prosecutor's office had requested a four-year suspension.

Juventus told the BBC they received notification from the anti-doping tribunal on Thursday morning.

The ruling means Pogba will be unable to play until 2027, when he will be 33, with the ban backdated to the date of the failed test.

It is understood Pogba believes that if he did take a banned substance, he did so inadvertently.

Speaking at the time of the initial suspension, Pogba's agent, Rafaela Pimenta, said: "What is certain is that Paul Pogba never wanted to break a rule."

Testosterone is a hormone that increases the endurance of athletes.

Nado said Pogba had violated rules when prohibited non-endogenous testosterone metabolites - substances not naturally produced by the body from testosterone - were found in the test, and the results were "consistent with the exogenous [external] origin of the target compounds".

Juventus re-signed Pogba on a four-year deal in July 2022 after the player ran down his contract at Manchester United and left as a free agent.

He also played for the Italian giants from 2012-16, when he made 178 appearances across all competitions and scored 34 goals, before joining United for a then-world record transfer fee of £89.3m.

The 2018 World Cup winner's return to Turin has been beset by persistent injury problems which also saw him miss last year's World Cup in Qatar.

Pogba has played a total of 51 minutes as a substitute this season in games with Bologna and Empoli.

Last season he played 108 minutes over six Serie A games, made three appearances and one assist in the Europa League, and managed 11 minutes in the Coppa Italia - a total of 162 minutes and no goals.

Source: BBC