Paul Pogba ‘sad, shocked’ at four-year ban for doping

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Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba expresses deep sadness, shock, and heartbreak upon receiving a four-year ban from football due to a doping violation.

The France international, 30, was provisionally suspended in September after a drugs test found elevated levels of testosterone in his system.

“Everything I have built in my professional career has been taken away from me,” he said in a statement.

The ex-Manchester United player stated his intention to lodge an appeal. Pogba underwent a random drug test following Juventus’ inaugural match of the season on August 20th.

Confirmation of the positive test emerged through a second sample examined by Italy’s national anti-doping tribunal in October, leading the anti-doping prosecutor’s office to seek a four-year ban.

Juventus informed the BBC that they were notified by the anti-doping tribunal on Thursday morning.

Pogba expressed his belief that the verdict was “incorrect” and asserted that he would never intentionally or knowingly engage in doping.

“When I am free of legal restrictions, the full story will become clear,” he said.

“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 result of the ruling, Pogba will be sidelined from playing until 2027, when he reaches the age of 34, as the ban is retroactively applied to the date of the failed test.

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, a hormone known for enhancing athletes’ endurance, was at the center of Nado’s accusation against Pogba.

Nado asserted that Pogba breached regulations when banned non-endogenous testosterone metabolites—substances not naturally occurring in the body from testosterone—were detected, and the findings indicated a probable external source for these compounds.

Publicly available information from the Football Leaks website revealed details about Pogba’s contract when he rejoined Manchester United in the summer of 2016.

His five-year deal included a base salary of £7.75 million annually, along with a loyalty bonus of £3.75 million per year. Additionally, he stood to earn an extra £1.85 million if United qualified for the Champions League.

Furthermore, Pogba secured a £3 million yearly image rights agreement. His agent, Mino Raiola, who passed away in 2022, received £41 million for facilitating Pogba’s return to United.

Subsequently, Pogba signed a four-year contract with Juventus in July 2022, following the expiration of his Manchester United contract. He departed as a free agent.

Pogba disclosed experiencing depression after a falling out with manager Jose Mourinho during Mourinho’s tenure at Old Trafford.

During his initial stint at Juventus from 2012 to 2016, Pogba made 178 appearances across all competitions, winning three league titles and scoring 34 goals, before rejoining United for a then-world record transfer fee of £89.3 million.

Persistent injury setbacks have plagued Pogba’s return to Turin, leading to his absence from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. This season, he has only played 51 minutes as a substitute in matches against Bologna and Empoli.

Last season’s contributions included 108 minutes across six Serie A games, three appearances and one assist in the Europa League, and 11 minutes in the Coppa Italia, totaling 162 minutes without any goals.