Paul Pogba’s Playing Days Potentially Over as Prosecution Pursues 4‑Year Ban

December 7, 2023, 2:25 pm
Paul Pogba during a match with Juventus

French mid­field­er Paul Pog­ba’s play­ing days are poten­tial­ly over as Ital­ian pros­e­cu­tors rec­om­mend a lengthy dop­ing sus­pen­sion that could end his top-lev­el soc­cer career. 

After test­ing pos­i­tive for a banned sub­stance, Pog­ba may be banned from com­pe­ti­tion for four years if the court upholds the pros­e­cu­tion’s penal­ty request.

Pog­ba, 30, pro­vid­ed a sam­ple after a Juven­tus match in August that showed traces of DHEA, a hor­mone that boosts testos­terone lev­els. As a banned per­for­mance-enhanc­ing drug, its detec­tion trig­gered an auto­mat­ic pro­vi­sion­al sus­pen­sion for the 2018 World Cup win­ner. Pog­ba claimed the sub­stance entered his body acci­den­tal­ly through sup­ple­ments dur­ing his rehab from injury.

How­ev­er, fur­ther analy­sis of a sec­ond sam­ple con­firmed the ini­tial pos­i­tive test. Fac­ing a manda­to­ry four-year ban under anti-dop­ing rules, Pog­ba argued mit­i­gat­ing fac­tors deserved lenien­cy. Nonethe­less, Ital­ian author­i­ties remain unmoved, demand­ing the max­i­mum penal­ty at his upcom­ing hear­ing despite Pog­ba’s injury come­back attempts.

Unless a com­pro­mise can reduce his sen­tence, Pog­ba faces legal fall­out along­side the like­ly ter­mi­na­tion of his Juven­tus con­tract run­ning until 2026 due to the con­tract breach. After over a decade play­ing in Eng­land and Italy, the ban threat­ens to pre­ma­ture­ly end Pog­ba’s dec­o­rat­ed pro­fes­sion­al soc­cer career at its peak. As the case devel­ops, Pog­ba’s fate and lega­cy remain­ing in doubt.

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