Paul Pogba ‘shocked and heartbroken’ at four-year ban for positive drugs test

Juventus player banned after testing positive for testosterone, and will be 35 by time that suspension ends

The France and Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has said he is “sad, shocked and heartbroken” after being handed a four-year ban from football for a doping offence that could signal the end of his career.

Pogba, who will be almost 35 when the ban ends, said he would appeal to the court of arbitration for sport over what he called an “incorrect” verdict and that the “full story” was not known.

The World Cup winner was provisionally suspended by Italy’s national anti-doping body, Nado Italia, at a tribunal in September last year. Pogba tested positive for testosterone – a banned substance – after Juventus’s 3-0 league win at Udinese on 20 August, and a B sample confirmed the positive result in October.

A Juventus spokesperson told the Guardian that “this morning we received the notice from the anti-doping agency that [Pogba] has been disqualified for four years”. Pogba, who will be 31 in March, has a contract until 2026.


Pogba wrote on Instagram: “I have today been informed of the Tribunale Nazionale Antidoping’s decision and believe the verdict is incorrect. I am sad, shocked and heartbroken that everything I have built in my professional playing career has been taken away from me.

“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.

“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 today, I will appeal this before the court of arbitration for sport.”

Pogba has endured a torrid second spell with Juventus owing to knee and hamstring injuries since he returned to Italy on a free transfer from Manchester United in 2022, making only 12 appearances. He had rejoined United, where he spent time in the academy and made his professional debut, from Juventus for a world record €110m (£93.2m) in 2016.

Nado Italia said it was unable to comment on the case, citing Italian privacy laws. – Guardian