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Paul Pogba Faces Four-Year Suspension Following Positive Doping Test
A second doping test has come back positive for Paul Pogba, but the world class athlete blames a prescribed supplement for the test results.
The doping nightmare continues for Paul Pogba, the 2018 World Champion, as a counter-analysis requested after his positive doping test in August has confirmed the presence of testosterone metabolites, potentially exposing him to a four-year suspension.
Less than a month after his provisional suspension on September 11 by the Italian anti-doping agency (Nado), the 30-year-old former Manchester United player received the disheartening news on Friday. The analysis of his B sample, conducted on Thursday, revealed the same presence of testosterone metabolites as the initial A sample.
Pogba, an international midfielder with 91 caps, now faces a ban of up to four years under the World Anti-Doping Code. This suspension could be halved if he can prove he did not commit the offense or potentially reduced further if it is determined that the substance use occurred "out of competition and is not related to his level of performance."
The positive doping test was initially explained by Pogba's entourage as resulting from a dietary supplement prescribed by a U.S.-based doctor.
Since his suspension, Pogba has not featured for Juventus, where he rejoined last summer after departing from Manchester United. He has undergone surgery for a knee issue and suffered additional injuries during his return to the pitch.
Pogba now has seven days to submit his defense to the National Anti-Doping Tribunal, which will investigate his case and determine the appropriate sanction. Additionally, a judicial investigation will be opened by the Turin public prosecutor's office, as doping is considered a criminal offense in Italy.
Juventus is yet to make a formal statement regarding Pogba's situation but has suspended payment of his estimated salary of €8 million a year until 2026.
The doping scandal marks another setback for Pogba, both professionally and personally, in what has been a challenging year-and-a-half for the talented midfielder.
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri expressed his sympathy, saying, "I didn't know about the confirmation, I am sorry. We are waiting for what's coming next; it's useless to comment now. Humanly, I am sorry."
As Pogba navigates this difficult chapter in his career, the future remains uncertain for the once-promising World Cup winner.
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