Juventus star Paul Pogba handed four-year ban for doping

France and juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has been banned from football for four years for a doping offence.

Pogba was provisionally suspended by Italy’s national anti-doping (NADO Italia) tribunal in September after testing positive for testosterone — a banned substance.

Italian prosecutors requested a maximum four-year ban in December.

Pogba tested positive for testosterone after Juventus’ game against Udinese on Aug. 20, 2023. He did not play in the match but was on the bench.

In a statement, Pogba confirmed he will appeal against the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and insisted he has never taken banned substances.

“I have today been informed of the Tribunale Nazionale Antidoping’s decision and believe that the verdict is incorrect,” Pogba said.

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

“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.

“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.

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

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 with direct knowledge of the case confirmed the verdict to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the sentence was not made public due to Italy’s privacy laws.

Four-year bans are standard under the World Anti-Doping Code but can be reduced in cases where an athlete can prove their doping was not intentional, if the positive test was a result of contamination or if they provide “substantial assistance” to help investigators. .

Pogba, 30, returned to Juventus in 2022 after his second stint at manchester united, Since his return to Italy, he was hampered by injuries. He played in 178 matches for Juventus from 2012 to ’16.

He was ruled out of France’s run to the World Cup final in 2022 due to a knee injury.

There has also been an ongoing police investigation in France into allegations that Pogba was targeted by extortionists — including by his older brother Mathias, who has denied any wrongdoing.

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this story.

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