In a shocking turn of events, Juventus midfielder and 2018 World Champion, Paul Pogba, finds himself in the midst of a doping scandal. The counter-analysis, which Pogba had requested after his initial positive doping test in August, has confirmed the presence of testosterone. This revelation could potentially lead to a four-year suspension for the football star.
The news was first brought to light by Gazzetta dello Sport and was later confirmed by various Italian media outlets. A source with knowledge of the case also confirmed the presence of testosterone metabolites in both the A and B samples to AFP.
The World Anti-Doping Code stipulates that an athlete found guilty of such an offense could face a four-year ban. However, this duration could be reduced if the athlete can demonstrate that the offense was unintentional. Pogba’s representatives had previously stated that the testosterone metabolites originated from a dietary supplement prescribed by a doctor in the United States.
The National Anti-Doping Tribunal will now investigate the case, and Pogba has a seven-day window to present his defense. This process could span several weeks. Additionally, a judicial investigation will be initiated by the Turin public prosecutor’s office, as doping is a criminal offense in Italy.
Since the announcement of his positive test, Pogba has been sidelined from training with Juventus. The club, which re-signed him in July 2022 after a six-year stint with Manchester United, has also halted the payment of his estimated annual salary of €8 million until 2026. Juventus is yet to issue an official statement on the matter.
The doping scandal adds to a series of unfortunate events for Pogba, both on and off the field. Last season, he made only ten appearances for Juventus, primarily due to a meniscus injury. Off the field, he faced a harrowing experience in March 2022 when he was held for three hours by childhood friends attempting to extort 13 million euros from him.
The 2023-24 season had initially seemed promising for Pogba. However, with the recent doping revelations, the future of his football career hangs in the balance.