Pogba, before the match against Cremonese this season. MASSIMO PINCA (REUTERS)
The troubles are piling up for Paul Pogba (Lagny-sur-Marne, France; 30 years old), Juventus midfielder. Although none like the last one. “The National Anti-Doping Court, accepting the proposal of the National Anti-Doping Prosecutor’s Office, provisionally suspended Pogba,” said an official statement from the judicial body. The footballer tested positive for doping after the match on August 20 against Udinese, the first match of this Serie A, which he watched from the bench. Testosterone metabolites of non-endogenous origin were found in their tests.
Although testosterone is a hormone that does little to increase sporting performance in an elite athlete but does give more muscle mass, it is a prohibited substance and FIFA did not tremble in 2022 when it sanctioned Sabri Ali Mohamed, a footballer from Djibouti, four years old. Thus, Pogba now suspended on a precautionary basis, will be tried by the Italian national anti-doping court. The sanction can range from two to four courses, which could mean the end of his career, effervescent at the beginning and shattered at the end.
His powerful physique and ability to hit the ball for distribution and finishing, in addition to the wide strides that made him reach everywhere before anyone else, soon made him a place in the football elite, from Juve to Manchester United and way back. He is also a fundamental piece of Deschamps’ France. But he hinted more than he got, especially because of the magnetic story that his football and his feet explained. This has been seen in recent seasons. Last year, hampered by injuries, he barely participated in 10 games, a total of 161 minutes on the mat and was absent from the World Cup. In this one, he had only accounted for 52 minutes, ridiculous numbers for Juve’s highest-paid player with eight million net. Little football and many setbacks, like the one that occurred the previous year when his brother Mathias was arrested for extorting him in connivance with an organized gang and with the aim of obtaining several millions.
Pogba can request a counter-analysis within three days. If the positive is confirmed in that case, it will be judged by the Italian national anti-doping court.
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