The day when the 2018 world champion made his media comeback with an energetic interview at the microphone of Al Jazeera where he evoked his "rage" and his "desire to play", he takes a new blow on the head.

The "Pickaxe" evoked his "difficult year", which could have "destroyed" him. With his multiple injuries, the attempted extortion in organized gang targeting him, and in which is notably involved one of his brothers, Mathias, he played only ten games last season and he missed the World Cup-2022.

But he may miss much more if he has taken testosterone.

"The National Anti-Doping Tribunal informs that in accordance with the recommendation of the national anti-doping prosecutor, it has pronounced the provisional suspension of Paul Labile Pogba," Nado said in its statement to AFP.

The penalty was imposed for "violation of Articles 2.1 and 2.2 for the presence of the following prohibited substances: testosterone metabolites," she added.

He faces four-year suspension

Juventus Turin, his club, said in a statement that the doping control dates back to August 20 after the match between Udine and Juventus, counting for the first day of the Italian Championship, during which Pogba did not come into play.

If the second opinion of his B sample confirms the presence of testosterone metabolites, he is liable to a four-year suspension.

Contacted by AFP, Paul Pogba's counsel had not reacted on Monday night.

Juve only wrote that it "reserves the right to evaluate the next steps of the procedure", suggesting that it was waiting for the follow-up, and therefore the counter-expertise.

Pogba, 30, made his return to the field on August 27 in competition during the draw of his team at home against Bologna (1-1) in the Italian Championship.

His previous match was on May 14.

He came on the following weekend during the match against Empoli, counting for the 3rd matchday, but finished the match diminished because of a pain in his right thigh. The examinations had proved reassuring.

In the program Generation Sport on the Qatari channel, Pogba promised to come back "stronger" after the hardships crossed, the series of injuries and the alleged blackmail (the investigation is still ongoing).

Coming back "stronger"

"Money changes people, money can break up a family, start war," he said.

"The only people who can hurt you are your loved ones," he said. "The enemies, you know where they are, but the friends, the family, the ones you think are happy for you, they can destroy you, they can destroy you (he says it twice, Editor's note)".

At the height of this crisis, "there were times when I found myself alone and I said to myself: +I don't want to have any more money, I don't want to play anymore, I just want to be with normal people, who love me for who I am, for fame or money+", Pogba continued.

He promised in this interview that it "will only make (him) stronger", and gave appointment to those who do not believe that he can return to his best level.

"Football is cruel, people can forget you the next day," he said. "They are waiting for you at the corner: +He's finished, his career is over+. A lot of people think I'm screwed, I'm dead, Pogba doesn't exist anymore, I'm not one of the best anymore, I'm not even a good player anymore, I'm still injured.

But "I'm not weak, you can speak ill of me, I'm never going to give up, I'm going to work harder, give even more, and I'm going to have to show them, again..." he concluded.

But Pogba may not have the opportunity if he is convicted of doping.

© 2023 AFP