30-year-old Paul Pogba found out on Friday that the analysis of his B sample, which was done on Thursday, showed the same testosterone metabolites as the analysis of his A sample. This happened less than a month after the Italian anti-doping agency announced it was temporarily banning the player on September 11.
Gazzetta dello Sport broke the news first, and then other Italian media outlets followed. An insider with knowledge of the case told AFP that it was true.
The international defender (91 caps) could get a four-year ban under the World Anti-Doping Code. If he can show that he did not do anything wrong, the ban could be cut in half.
Even a few months could be enough if the drug use happened “not in competition and has nothing to do with his level of performance.”
Last month, “La Pioche’s” team said that the testosterone metabolytes came from a supplement that was given by a doctor in the United States. This was done to explain the failed doping test.
One week defence!
Testosterone, which is a male hormone that controls sexuality and pregnancy, helps muscles grow.
Pogba has seven days to give his defence to the National Anti-Doping Tribunal. The tribunal will then look into his case and ask for a punishment, which could take a few weeks.
Doping is illegal in Italy, so in addition to the sports law cases that are already going on, the public prosecutor’s office in Turin will also start a legal probe.
Since it was announced that Pogba had a positive test, he has not been able to train with Juventus Turin. He returned to the club in July 2022 after six years with Manchester United.
When AFP called the Piedmontese club, they hadn’t replied yet. The club has also stopped paying him his estimated €8 million a year salary until 2026.
Not long before the press meeting, Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri said he was “sorry for Paul” before the Turin game against Torino.
When AFP called Pogba’s group, they refused to respond.
The drug incident is the last straw in what has been a terrible year and a half for Pogba, both on and off the field.
Last season, he only played ten times for Juventus because of an injury to his ACL in his right knee, which he finally had surgery on in September. It’s too late to join the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
But the Guinean-born player had the worst times when he wasn’t on the field
Two covered men with guns held him hostage for three hours in March 2022 to get 13 million euros from him. They were his childhood friends and two old acquaintances from the Roissy-en-Brie neighborhood, near Paris, where the Pogba family grew up.
One of his brothers was linked to this planned attempt to blackmail him, and threats were made against his mother, wife, and agent.
Around the middle of September, Pogba was in Paris when five of his cousins who were thought to have had something to do with his kidnapping sat down with him for five hours.
Pogba’s 2023–24 season looked better, even though he had a hard time training this summer because of the effects of his illness and surgery.
Even though he was called up for the first game of the Italian Championship, which was a trip to Udine, where he was tested for drugs, he did not play that day. He didn’t play again until August 27, three months after his last game. That day, he was in a 1-1 home draw with Bologna.
He told the Qatari station Al-Jazeera that he would come back “stronger” in an interview that aired just a few hours before the test results were made public.