Juventus and France midfielder Paul Pogba has been provisionally suspended after a doping control detected the banned substance testosterone, Italian anti-doping authorities (NADO) told AFP on Monday.
“The National Antidoping Tribunal informs that, in acceptance of the instance proposed by the National Antidoping Prosecutor, it has provided for the provisional suspension of the athlete Paul Labile Pogba,” NADO said in a statement to AFP.
NADO said the “prohibited substance detected: Non-endogenous testosterone metabolites”, was consistent with a doping infringement, given testosterone is used to enhance endurance.
Stream Over 50 Sports Live & On-Demand with Kayo. Join now and start streaming instantly >
The Italian press reported that the doping test was carried out on the opening day of the Italian Serie A season, a 3-0 win at Udinese on August 20, during which the 30-year-old was an unused substitute.
The test concerns the ‘A’ sample, and if the ‘B’ sample also tests positive for testosterone Pogba could face a two to four-year ban.
NADO sent a statement Monday to clarify reports from earlier in the day in the Italian press regarding Pogba, who was hoping to play for Juventus against Lazio this weekend.
Pogba was a star player in France’s 2018 World Cup triumph but had an awful 2022-2023 season.
After moving from Manchester United, he was blighted by injury and a blackmail affair which police are continuing to investigate – with Pogba’s own brother Mathias arrested last year over the alleged £11.1m plot. French police have stated allegations of blackmail by an armed gang, kidnap, and criminal conspiracy are all under investigation.
Pogba this week opened up on considering retirement after the scandal.
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 played just ten games for Juventus last season and missed the 2022 World Cup with France after knee surgery, while he is yet to start a game this season.
Socceroos slip lead to draw with Mexico | 02:18