Juventus and France midfielder, Paul Pogba, is facing the possibility of a lengthy ban after his ‘B’ sample confirmed the presence of testosterone, according to a source close to the case.
The 30-year-old, who previously played for Manchester United and was part of France’s 2018 World Cup-winning squad, could potentially face a suspension of up to four years.
The original test conducted by the Italian anti-doping agency (Nado) had shown the presence of testosterone metabolites.
Pogba received the news on Friday that the analysis of his ‘B’ sample, conducted the previous day, yielded the same result. His representatives have refrained from commenting on the matter.
Under the World Anti-Doping Code, Pogba could be subject to a four-year suspension unless he can prove he was not at fault. However, the ban may be reduced to a few months if it’s determined that the use of the substance occurred “out of competition and is not related to his level of performance.”
Pogba’s representatives had previously claimed that the presence of testosterone was due to a food supplement prescribed by a doctor he consulted in the United States. Testosterone is known to promote muscle development.
Nado has not been able to confirm this information due to privacy concerns. Pogba now has seven days to submit his defense to Italy’s National Anti-Doping Tribunal, which will investigate the case and determine a potential sanction, a process that may take several weeks.
In addition to the sporting justice system, a judicial investigation will be initiated by the Turin public prosecutor’s office since doping is considered a criminal offense in Italy.
Since the announcement of the positive test, Pogba has been unable to train with Juventus, the club he rejoined in July 2022 after six seasons with Manchester United. The club has also suspended payment of his estimated annual salary of 8 million euros (8.4 million dollars).
Pogba began the season attempting to recover from a series of injuries last season and from summer surgery. The sample that tested positive was reportedly taken during his club’s opening match of the Serie A season, which was a victory against Udinese on August 20, a game in which he was an unused substitute.
After the first sample tested positive on September 11, Pogba’s agent, Rafaela Pimenta, stated that she was “awaiting the second sample and cannot have an opinion before the results.” She added that “what is certain is that Paul Pogba never wanted to break a rule.”