Football: France's 2018 World Cup Winner Paul Pogba Banned For Four Years For Doping (Ld)

(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) France's World Cup winner and current Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has been banned from football for four years after failing a dope test that was conducted in August last year. The punishment was confirmed on Thursday by the Italian National Anti-Doping Tribunal.

Pogba, a former Manchester United player, had failed a random dope test after playing an Italian Serie A match for Juventus. He tested positive for DHEA, a banned substance that boosts endogenous testosterone. His 'B' Sample was then counter-analysed, which also returned a positive result.

Former general secretary of the All-India Football Federation (AIFF), Shaji Prabhakaran shared the news on X.

“Paul Pogba has been suspended from football for four years after a failed anti-doping test. Pogba was initially handed a provisional suspension by NADO (the Italian Anti-Doping Organisation) in September after the failed test, which followed his side Juventus's 3-0 win at Udinese on August 20,” he wrote.

Soon after being provisionally suspended by the Italian anti-doping agency, Pogba claimed that the intake of the banned substance was 'unintentional'. Pogba's lawyers had rejected a plea deal and hoped to get their client a lighter sentence after claiming he had unwittingly ingested the drug via a supplement, thus causing the positive test.

However, Pogba's defence was rejected by the Italian prosecutors and the National Anti-Doping Tribunal has now handed the French star the maximum punishment possible.

Pogba's ban will start from September 2023 onwards and will end in August 2027. This means Pogba would be just shy of his 34th birthday by the time the ban ends, and he can play again. Pogba's contract with his current employer Juventus is set to run until the summer of 2027 and he will now never play for the side again. His second stint with the Italian club has been a disaster, said another report in The Mirror.

Pogba, who returned to the Turin-based Italian giants Juventus in 2022 on a free transfer from Manchester United, had missed a major part of his first season due to an injury. He had made just two appearances this season before the dope test. While his career at top clubs will likely be over by the time the ban ends, he can still manage to play in smaller leagues. His international now looks all but over. In 91 appearances for his country -- the last coming in 2022, Pogba has scored 11 goals. He was a key player in France's triumph in the World Cup in 2018 in Russia

Meanwhile, Pogba's management team has announced that he will challenge the decision in the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).



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