Juventus' Paul Pogba Suspended For Doping
Juventus and France midfielder Paul Pogba has been temporarily suspended following a doping test that found heightened levels of testosterone, as reported by Italian anti-doping authorities (Nado) to AFP on Monday.
This comes as a significant setback for the 30-year-old player, who has already endured a challenging season marked by injuries and a blackmail scandal. The alleged doping violation occurred after Juventus's 3-0 victory over Udinese on August 20, a match in which Pogba was present but didn't participate as he remained an unused substitute.
The test showed elevated levels of testosterone, a hormone that can enhance an athlete's endurance. As a result, the 30-year-old's second sample will also be subjected to examination. Reports from Italy indicate that Pogba has a three-day window to provide a counter-analysis of the test result. If he is ultimately found guilty of doping, the French international could face a suspension lasting anywhere from two to four years.
NADO Italia stated, "In response to the request made by the National Anti-doping Prosecutor, it has implemented a provisional suspension for the athlete Paul Labile Pogba." The tribunal determined that Pogba had breached anti-doping regulations by detecting the prohibited substance "non-endogenous testosterone metabolites." They further noted that the test results were indicative of the origin of these compounds being "exogenous," or originating from an external source.
Juventus issued a statement stating that Paul Pogba has been placed under a "precautionary suspension." The club also mentioned that they retain the right to determine their next course of action in terms of the procedural steps to be taken in this matter.
Paul Pogba, who did not play in the victory against Udinese and has been provisionally suspended, has faced significant challenges during his second stint at Juventus since returning from Manchester United in 2022. The 2018 World Cup champion had a tough time last season due to knee and hamstring injuries, which caused him to miss a substantial part of the season. Additionally, he was absent from France's journey to the World Cup final in Qatar due to knee surgery.
He only participated in ten matches for Juventus in that season and couldn't take part in the 2022 World Cup with the French national team.
Pogba got removed from a Juventus team due to disciplinary issues and said he nearly left the sport when an organized crime group supposedly tried to blackmail him. This season, he hasn't been in the starting lineup but has come in as a substitute twice, with his most recent appearance in Juventus' 2-0 victory against Empoli on September 3rd.
"I've had a difficult year so I've this anger and this wish to play football," Pogba said.
"The only people that can hurt you are the people close to you. Enemies you know where they are, but friends, family, that you think they're happy for you, they can destroy you," he said.
Pogba expressed that there were times when the situation had greatly discouraged him, saying, “I was just by myself thinking I don't want to have money anymore, I don't want to play anymore, I just want to be with normal people, so they will love me for me, not for the fame, not for the money.”