Juventus and France midfield sensation, Paul Pogba, is under intense scrutiny as his ‘B’ sample confirms the presence of testosterone, according to an insider close to the case who spoke with AFP on Friday.
The 30-year-old former Manchester United star, a pivotal figure in France’s 2018 World Cup victory, now confronts the possibility of a staggering four-year ban from professional football.
This revelation follows the initial testing conducted by the Italian anti-doping agency (Nado), which had flagged the existence of testosterone metabolites.
Shockingly, the analysis of Pogba’s B sample, performed the day prior, yielded identical results.
Pogba’s inner circle has refrained from commenting on this unfolding situation.
Under the World Anti-Doping Code, Pogba faces the specter of a four-year suspension unless he can demonstrate his innocence.
There is a provision for a potential reduction of this ban to a few months if it can be proven that the substance use occurred “out of competition and is not related to his level of performance.”
Pogba’s representatives previously attributed the presence of testosterone to a dietary supplement prescribed by a doctor he consulted in the United States.
Testosterone is known for its muscle-enhancing properties.
Nado, when approached for confirmation, remained non-committal due to restrictions imposed by the Italian privacy authority.
Pogba now has a mere seven days to submit his defense to Italy’s National Anti-Doping Tribunal, which will spearhead the investigation and determine a suitable penalty.
This process is expected to span several weeks.
In addition to the sports justice proceedings, the Turin public prosecutor’s office is poised to launch a criminal investigation into the matter, as doping constitutes a criminal offense in Italy.
Since the revelation of his positive test, Pogba has been sidelined from training with Juventus, the club he rejoined in July 2022 after a successful stint with Manchester United.
His suspension also coincides with Juventus temporarily halting payment of his estimated annual salary of 8 million euros (8.4 million dollars).
Pogba began this season striving to recover from a series of injuries sustained in the previous campaign and subsequent summer surgery.
His initial sample was reportedly obtained during Juventus’ opening Serie A match on August 20, in which he did not feature.
Upon the first positive result on September 11, Pogba’s agent, Rafaela Pimenta, emphasized the need to await the results of the second sample and maintained Pogba’s commitment to adhering to the rules.