Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba

Juventus midfielder, Paul Pogba, has been provisionally suspend­ed from playing after a drugs test found elevated levels of tes­

 tosterone in his system.

Italy’s national anti-doping tribunal (Nado) said Pogba was tested after Juve’s 3-0 win at Udi­nese on 20 August.

The 30-year-old France inter­national, an unused substitute, was randomly selected for post-match drug testing.

If found guilty of doping, he could face a ban of between two and four years.

Juventus said in a statement: “Juventus Football Club announc­es that today, 11 September, 2023, the footballer, Paul Labile Pogba, received a precautionary suspen­sion order from the National Anti-Doping Tribunal following the results of tests carried out on 20 August, 2023.

“The club reserves the right to consider the next procedural steps.”

Pogba’s agent, Rafaela Pimenta, said she was “awaiting the second sample and cannot have an opin­ion before the results”.

“What is certain is that Paul Pogba never wanted to break a rule,” Pimenta added.

Nado said Pogba had violated anti-doping rules when it found the prohibited substance “non-en­dogenous testosterone metabo­lites” and the results were “consis­tent with the exogenous origin of the target compounds”.

Testosterone is a hormone that increases the endurance of athletes.

Pogba has three days to produce a counter-analysis of the result to Nado.

Juventus re-signed Pogba on a four-year deal in July 2022 after the player ran down his contract at Manchester United and left as a free agent.

However, Pogba’s return to Turin has been beset by persistent injury problems which also saw him miss last year’s World Cup in Qatar.

Pogba has played a total of 51 minutes as a substitute this season in games with Bologna and Empoli.

Last season he managed 108 minutes over six Serie A games, three brief appearances and one assist in the Europa League, and 11 minutes in the Coppa Italia – a total of 162 minutes and no goals.

Pogba’s injury problems resur­faced recently, with Juventus boss, Massimo Allegri, saying the player picked up a minor back problem following his appearance against Empoli. —BBC