Paul Pogba Provisionally Suspended for Anti-Doping Offense, and Now Considering Retirement:
Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has been provisionally suspended for an anti-doping offense, following a test that detected elevated levels of testosterone.
The test was performed after Juve’s victory at Udinese on August 20, and Pogba has been suspended with immediate effect. He risks a suspension of up to four years pending a trial and testing of a backup “B” sample.
The news is another blow for Pogba, who has been plagued by injuries since rejoining Juventus from Manchester United last year. He was ruled out of France’s run to the World Cup final last year due to a knee injury and played in only six Serie A matches for Juventus last season.
Pogba has yet to start a game this season but has made two substitute appearances.
The provisional suspension is also another blow to Juventus, who are currently under investigation by UEFA for false accounting and irregular reporting of salary payments. The legal cases resulted in the Turin club being removed by UEFA from European competition this season.
Pogba’s provisional suspension comes just days after he spoke out about the alleged blackmail plot against him. The 30-year-old midfielder said he was almost driven to walk away from football after being targeted by an organised crime gang.
Pogba’s brother Mathias was detained in September 2022 on suspicion of involvement in the alleged plot, which Paul claimed amounted to a bid to extort £11.1m from him. Mathias was released in December and denies the charges.
Pogba reported the incident to Turin prosecutors in July of last year, shortly after leaving Manchester United on a free transfer in order to rejoin Juventus.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Paul Pogba said: “When there is money you have to be careful. Money changes people. It can break up a family. It can create a war.
“Sometimes I was just by myself thinking: ‘I don’t want to have money anymore. I just don’t want to play anymore. I just want to be with normal people, so they will love me for me – not for the fame, not for the money.’
“Sometimes it’s tough. This life, you have to go through it. It will only make me stronger.”
Pogba’s provisional suspension is a further setback in what has been a difficult 15 months for the midfielder. He has been plagued by injuries, been targeted by blackmailers, and now faces the prospect of a four-year ban from football.
The news has also led to speculation that Pogba could retire from football altogether. However, the midfielder has not yet made any decision on his future.
“I need time to think,” he said. “I need to clear my head and decide what is best for me.”
Pogba’s case will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the coming months. The outcome of the case could have a significant impact on his career.
If found guilty of doping, Pogba could be banned from football for up to four years. This would be a major blow to the midfielder, who is still under contract with Juventus until 2025.
Even if he is cleared of doping, the provisional suspension could have a lasting impact on Pogba’s career. He could lose his place in the France national team and struggle to find a new club.
The next few months will be critical for Pogba’s future. He will need to clear his name and prove that he is still one of the best midfielders in the world.
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