Paul Pogba banned from football for four years after positive doping test

Published on 2 March 2024 at 16:00

The national anti-doping tribunal (NADO) provisionally suspended the 30 year old in September after his doping test showed excessive levels of Testosterone, which is used by athletes to enhance endurance and performance. The Frenchman stated he was "sad, shocked and heartbroken" at the decision.

The World Cup winner finally looked fully fit ahead of the 2023-24 Serie A season, after a tormenting first 14 months returning to Turin which saw him plagued with injuries and make 10 appearances in all competitions in his first season back at Juventus.

On the opening game of the season, a 3-0 win for Juventus over Udinese in which Pogba was an unused substitute was followed by the midfielder being submitted for a surprise doping test after the game.

The results in October showed he had tested positive for a banned substance called Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and he was immediately suspended pending investigation.

The player's agent Rafael Pimenta said: "What is certain is that Paul Pogba never wanted to break a rule"

After this devastating verdict for the former Manchester United star, which would see him return to football in 2027, Pogba stated that he will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Pogba's story is that "he got a friend who is a doctor in Miami to give him food supplements which he unknowingly took"

If he can prove that consumption was mistaken or accidental or that someone planted it he could reduce the ban to two years, which could give Pogba the chance to play again. He would be 33 years old, with the possibility of a team giving him one last contract to prove himself.

However, if the four year ban is not overturned then it could spell the end of Pogba's career which started so promisingly, but has seemed to fade away lately into what should have been.


His return to Juventus last summer, where he won four consecutive Serie A titles and reached a Champions League final in 2015, was supposed to signal his renaissance where he would re-write the story of his return. 

He joined the Serie A giants on a free transfer, signing a three year contract worth an annual salary of £6.9m including £2.71m in bonuses. Since the suspension in September Juventus and the Players association agreed to reduce his salary to £2,054 per month while he was unable to play.

His long-awaited second debut was delayed because of the player's decision to choose conservative therapies instead of surgery on a knee injury. He tried to rush his return to fitness, to feature for France at the winter World Cup in Qatar but instead it caused further complications and the midfielder did not play until the 13th April 2023 and has not featured for his country again.

Pogba missed 364 days with six different injuries last season which saw him miss 94% of Juventus' games in 2023-24, meanwhile Juventus endured a disappointing season of controversy suffering a points deduction and finishing seventh in Serie A.

In the summer of 2022 prior to leaving Manchester United, he was an alleged victim of a blackmail plot by an organised gang which included his own brother Matias Pogba.

The former Ballon D'or contender's career has taken a downward trajectory in recent seasons, embroiled in of field drama and tormented with repeated injury set-backs.

Since 2018-19 the midfielder has not achieved more than 22 league games in a season.


This is a player, who arguably reached his peak in the Black and White stripes of Juventus where he made 178 appearances, scoring 34 goals in his first decorated stint.

This form prompted Manchester United who let Pogba go at the age of 19, to break the world record fee and pay £89.3m to re-sign the talented playmaker who signed a five year deal of £7.75m per year.

His time at Old Trafford was up and down, in his first season he lifted the FA Cup and Europa League and was a favourite amongst his teammates with his infectious and charismatic personality.

However, this strong character clashed with Jose Mouhrino and he was embroiled in a fracas with the Portuguese manager, with Pogba later admitting he suffered depression during that time in his career.

Towards the end of his Manchester United career managerial feuds and questions over his commitment drove a wedge between him and the fans, as his performances started to deteriorate.

For France he was a national icon, integral to lifting the 2018 World Cup scoring a goal in the final at Russia against Croatia and he reached the Euro 2016 final too. He made 91 caps for Les Bleus between 2013 and 2022.

He was a player who possessed so much natural talent, but throughout his career his application and decision-making has appeared to hold him back from reaching the very top of footballing stardom. While, he's embarked on a successful career this potential four year ban will leave the 30 year old looking back and thinking I could have done more.

Juventus are left with the decision of whether to terminate Pogba's deal and are in negotiations with the player's representatives to proceed with the next steps.

Written by Lewis Eadie 

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