Paul Pogba is facing a ban of up to four years after testing positive for testosterone.

The France midfielder, whose return to Juventus from Manchester United in July 2022 had already turned into a nightmare before this development, is reported to have tested positive after his club’s Serie A fixture against Udinese on August 20, a game in which he did not play.


Pogba has now been suspended by Italy’s national anti-doping tribunal on an initial precautionary basis and has three days to request a B sample.

The maximum suspension in such cases is four years – an initial two-year ban, which can be doubled if it is proven that the substance was taken deliberately.

Juventus confirmed Pogba’s provisional suspension in a club statement on Monday night

The statement read: ‘Juventus Football Club announces that today, September 11, 2023, the footballer Paul Labile Pogba received a precautionary suspension order from the National Anti-Doping Tribunal following the results of tests carried out on August 20, 2023.

‘The club reserves the right to consider the next procedural steps.’

The most recent similar case in Serie A saw Atalanta’s Jose Luis Palomino banned and then absolved after having missed four months, when a positive test for the steroid clostebol was overturned by the B sample

Pogba rejoined Juve after running down his contract at United but made only one start in the league last season due to numerous injury problems.

This term he figured in the matches against Bologna and Empoli before suffering further injury woe.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, released hours before news broke of Pogba’s doping test, the midfielder said: ‘I want to make people eat their words and prove I am not weak. People can criticise me, but I will never give up.

‘At times, when I have been alone, I have thought: “I don’t want to have money anymore. I don’t want to play football any longer. I want to be with normal people, that way they’ll love me for who I am, not for money or fame.”

‘At times it’s hard. Money changes people and can destroy a family, it can create a war.’

Pogba had been linked with a move to Saudi Pro League club Al Ittihad this summer amid his difficulties at Juventus, where he is one of the highest-paid players.

Juve’s need to balance the books this summer meant they are thought to have been open to letting him leave.
Pogba started life at United before becoming a key man for Juventus from 2012-16, leading to a £89million transfer back to Old Trafford – a world record sum at the time.

But the 30-year-old struggled to recapture his best form for Juve during his second stint in England, which was remembered as much for controversy as on-field success.

Yet Pogba remained a mainstay for France, helping them win the World Cup in 2018, though injury ruled him out of Les Bleus’ run to the final four years later.

Pogba’s latest episode caps off a turbulent few years for the Frenchman following his difficult six-year stay at Manchester United before news of a shocking £11m extortion plot against him involving his brother.

The 30-year-old was threatened by a gang of masked, armed men in a Paris apartment who demanded millions for ‘protection services.’

The ongoing probe has seen several individuals investigated over allegations of armed extortion, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy against Pogba.

Pogba’s brother Mathias spent three months in prison between September and December last year while police investigated his role in the extortion attempt, while four others were also placed under formal investigation.

Last year Pogba released a statement admitting that Mathias’ videos were ‘unfortunately no surprise’
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Last year Pogba released a statement admitting that Mathias’ videos were ‘unfortunately no surprise’
Mathias Pogba said he would share information on his brother in a bizarre video on social media
View gallery
Mathias Pogba said he would share information on his brother in a bizarre video on social media
Pogba opened up on the episode this week – revealing how it made him contemplate retirement in addition to causing ‘war’ in his family and ruining his physical and mental health.

‘Money changes people. … It can break up a family. It can create a war,’ said Pogba.

‘Sometimes I was just by myself thinking, ‘I don’t want to have money anymore. I just 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.’ Sometimes it’s tough.’

The previous year he was quoted by L’Equipe as telling judges about the impact the affair had on his playing career.

‘I kept all of this to myself for a long time and then I revealed it. This case has had a big impact on my body, especially on my injuries,’ he said.

‘I’ve spoken about it with the French national team manager.’

Pogba also confessed he feared his friends and family would be hurt by the gang.

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