Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has been provisionally suspended by Italy’s national anti-doping tribunal after returning an adverse sample.
The France international tested positive for testosterone in a random drugs test following Juventus’ Serie A game against Udinese on August 20, when he was an unused substitute.
After the Italian anti-doping body issued a statement on Monday evening confirming Pogba’s suspension, Juventus said the club would now consider “the next procedural steps”.
If found guilty of doping, a suspension of between two and four years could be handed out to Pogba.
“Juventus Football Club announces that today, September 11, 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 August 20, 2023,” a statement from the Serie A side read.
“The club reserves the right to consider the next procedural steps.”
Italy’s national anti-doping tribunal confirmed Pogba’s positive sample for testosterone.
A statement from the anti-doping body read: “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 (FIGC) for the violation of articles 2.1, 2.2; prohibited substance detected: Non-endogenous testosterone metabolites (The GC/c/IRMS results are consistent with the exogenous origin of the target compounds).”
Earlier on Monday, former Manchester United midfielder Pogba said he was almost driven to walk away from football after allegedly being blackmailed by an organised crime gang.
The 30-year-old’s brother Mathias was detained in September 2022 on suspicion of involvement in the alleged plot, which Paul Pogba claimed amounted to a bid to extort £11.1million from him.
Mathias Pogba was released in December and denies the charges.
Paul 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.”
Laure Beccuau, a Paris prosecutor, said the investigation was looking into allegations of “blackmail by an armed gang, kidnapping and membership of a criminal conspiracy”.
Mathias Pogba is himself a professional footballer, with the 33-year-old having represented Crewe, Crawley, Wrexham and Partick Thistle, as well as the national team of Guinea.
He is currently without a club after leaving French lower-league side Belfort in 2022.