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Dhaka Tribune

Heartbroken Pogba to appeal four-year doping ban at CAS

Pogba said he had been informed of the decision but denied any wrongdoing and believed the verdict to be incorrect

Update : 29 Feb 2024, 11:50 PM

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba's career hung in the balance Thursday after he was handed a four-year doping ban but the France international said he would try to clear his name by appealing the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Pogba was provisionally suspended by a tribunal of Italy's national anti-doping organization (NADO Italia) in September after testing positive for testosterone - a banned substance and hormone that increases athletes' endurance.

Juve did not comment on the ban but a source confirmed the club was notified about the decision and would assess the next steps.

The 30-year old Pogba, who has a contract at Juve until June 2026, said he had been informed of the decision but denied any wrongdoing and believed the verdict to be incorrect.

"I am sad, shocked and heartbroken that everything I have built in my professional playing career has been taken away from me," Pogba said in a statement.

"As a professional athlete I would never do anything to enhance my performance by using banned substances and have never disrespected or cheated fellow athletes and supporters of any of the teams I have played for, or against.

"As a consequence of the decision announced I will appeal this before the CAS," he added, referring to sport's highest court.
NADO Italia declined to comment on Pogba's case citing privacy rules.

The doping test, performed after Juve's 3-0 Serie A season-opening victory at Udinese on August 20, detected testosterone, with the tribunal saying the results were consistent with an exogenous (external) origin of the substance.

Pogba was an unused substitute in that game but he later made two appearances off the bench against Bologna and Empoli before he was handed a provisional suspension.

Pogba's positive doping test was also confirmed in a counter-analysis on a second sample in October.

The ban could effectively end Pogba's career at the highest level.

The Frenchman was among the sport's highest-earning players at his peak after he completed a then-world record transfer of over 100m euros ($108.42m) in 2016 to Premier League giants Manchester United.

According to a source, Juve are currently paying Pogba a minimum wage of 2,000 euros ($2,169.80) per month.

If the ban is upheld by CAS, Pogba's contract could be terminated while he will not be able to return to action until September 2027 - when he will be 34.

"When I am free of legal restrictions the full story will become clear, but I have never knowingly or deliberately taken any supplements that violate anti-doping regulations," Pogba added.

Pogba has had a torrid second spell with Juve due to injuries since he returned to the Turin-based club following his departure from United on a free transfer in 2022.

The 2018 World Cup winner barely featured last season due to knee and hamstring injuries as well as knee surgery, which prevented him playing for France at the World Cup in Qatar.

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