It’s a real blow for the French international from Juventus Turin.

Paul Pogba, who tested positive for testosterone in August 2023, was sentenced to four years of suspension by the Italian anti-doping court, the maximum penalty incurred, the club announced to AFP on Thursday.

“We received notification from the court this morning,” a source within Juventus told AFP, saying they “take note” of the court’s decision.

The latter followed the prosecution's requisitions against the 30-year-old midfielder, world champion in 2018 with the Blues, the maximum penalty according to the world anti-doping code.

Contacted by AFP, the Italian anti-doping court has not yet taken action.

Paul Pogba, who will be 31 on March 15, will appeal this sanction, one of his relatives assured AFP. 

Termination of his contract 

He tested positive in August 2023, during the match between Udinese and Juventus, counting for the first day of the Italian Championship, in which he did not participate.

The midfielder, whose 2022-2023 season was disrupted by injuries and extra-sporting problems, was provisionally suspended on September 11, before the second opinion he had requested confirmed, less than 'a month later, the presence of testosterone metabolites in his body.

To explain this positive anti-doping test, those around “La Pioche” had indicated that the testosterone metabolites would come from a food supplement prescribed by a doctor, whom the player consulted in the United States.

Testosterone, the hormone of fertility and male sexuality, promotes muscle development.

Faced with such a suspension, a big doubt hangs over the continuation of his career, knowing that Juventus, with which he is linked until the summer of 2026, can now terminate their contract, due to this suspension, in particular in order to save on salary.

A compromised end of career

This suspension looks like a never-ending nightmare for Paul Pogba.

The player can no longer train with Juventus since the announcement of his positive test, and sees his salary, estimated at 8 million euros per year until 2026, blocked by the club where he returned in July 2022 , after six seasons at Manchester United.

Above all, it risks being fatal to one of the best French players of the last ten years, pillar of the Blues and true talisman of Didier Deschamps.

A great architect of the world title won in Russia in 2018, the native of Lagny-sur-Marne was one of the great stars of world football, before seeing his popularity decline after a litany of misfortunes on and off the pitch.

Last season, Pogba only made ten appearances for Juve, mainly due to an injury to the meniscus in his right knee.

Forced to undergo the operation, he had to, with death in his soul, withdraw from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“Football is losing an extraordinary player,” lamented Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri. 

But it was far from the stadiums that the player of Guinean origin experienced the worst.

He was kidnapped in March 2022 for three hours by three childhood friends and two old acquaintances from the neighborhood where the Pogba grew up, in Roissy-en-Brie, near Paris.

The five men wanted to extract 13 million euros from him by involving two hooded men armed with guns.

One of his brothers was notably involved in this case of attempted extortion by an organized gang, while his mother, his wife and even his agent were the targets of threats. 

In mid-September, in Paris, Pogba was confronted for five hours by five of his relatives who were indicted, suspected of having played a role in his kidnapping.

With AFP

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