Paul Pogba provisionally suspended after testing positive for banned substance

Paul Pogba has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for a banned substance – Italy’s national anti-doping (NADO Italia) tribunal has announced.

The former Manchester United midfielder who had two spells with the Premier League giants after progressing through their famed Academy system tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone while playing for Italian outfit Juventus in their Serie A fixture with Udinese on August 20. Juventus won that meeting 3-0.

Pogba, who played 233 games for United – scoring 39 goals and 51 assists – was an unused substitute for Juventus on that date. However, the World Cup winner did feature in follow-up matches vs Bologna and Empoli – totting up 52 minutes in two cameo appearances from the substitutes bench.

A statement from NADO read: “In acceptance of the instance proposed by the National Anti-doping 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).”

The statement followed several reports on Monday afternoon that 91-cap France international Pogba, 30, was said to have been found to have elevated levels of the hormone (testosterone) in random checks that were carried out after the Serie A opener between Juventus and Udinese.

Paul Pogba

A second test sample will now be checked before Pogba can be said to have failed the doping test. If that sample is clear, the entire test will be considered as negative, while maximum punishment for a failed test can reach up to four years on the proviso any doping was found to be intentional.

His club Juventus have described his suspension as ‘precautionary’. A statement from the Serie A outfit read: “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.

“The club reserves the right to consider the next procedural steps.”

Pogba has been hampered with injury for much of his Juventus return. He played 10 matches last season amid four separate setbacks involving the knee, groin and hamstring. He missed the 2022 World Cup as a result as France got to the showpiece before relinquishing the trophy to Argentina.