Juventus midfielder Pogba banned for four years after failed anti-doping test

FILE- Juventus' Paul Pogba keeps his eyes on the ball during an Italian Cup soccer match between Inter Milan and Juventus, at the San Siro Stadium, in Milan, Italy, 26.04.2023
FILE- Juventus' Paul Pogba keeps his eyes on the ball during an Italian Cup soccer match between Inter Milan and Juventus, at the San Siro Stadium, in Milan, Italy, 26.04.2023 Copyright Spada/LaPresse via AP, File
Copyright Spada/LaPresse via AP, File
By Euronews with AP
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“I am sad, shocked and heartbroken," Pogba said in a statement, adding that he believed "the verdict is incorrect".


Paul Pogba, the celebrated World Cup winner, has been handed a maximum four-year suspension by Italy's anti-doping tribunal. The ruling was issued after the top midfielder tested positive for testosterone, a banned substance, casting a shadow over his career.

Even though Pogba said he would appeal to the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, the likelihood of overturning the verdict is slim, given his failure to present any mitigating factors for the positive test result.

The positive result was confirmed in September, stemming from an exam that was carried out on August 20 after Juventus’ game at Udinese. He did not play in the Serie A match but was on the bench.

Pogba opted not to make a plea bargain with Italy’s anti-doping agency so the case was tried before the country’s anti-doping court. 

A person familiar with the case shared the verdict with The Associated Press under the condition of anonymity, as the decision was not disclosed publicly in compliance with Italy's privacy regulations.

Pogba said in a statement he believes “the verdict is incorrect.”

“I am sad, shocked and heartbroken that everything I have built in my professional playing career has been taken away from me,” Pogba said. “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."

The decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) could take up to a year, which is the standard timeframe - unless one party pushes for a fast-track process and the other side agrees to it.

Pogba was known for his versatility, physicality and eye for the goal. When he returned to Manchester United in 2016, the club paid Juventus a then world-record transfer fee of 105 million euros.

Pogba rejoined Juventus in 2022 but struggled with injuries, playing in only six Serie A matches last season and two this season. He was ruled out of France’s run to the 2022 World Cup final due to a knee injury.

Pogba helped France win the previous World Cup, scoring in the 4-2 win over Croatia in the final. He played in 178 matches for Juventus from 2012-16.

“As a professional athlete I would never do anything to enhance my performance by using banned substances and have never disrespected or cheated fellow athletes and supporters of any of the teams I have played for, or against,” Pogba said.

Pogba's contract with Juventus, set to expire in June 2026, faces the possibility of early termination. The Turin-based club has yet to respond to the verdict.

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