• Monday, April 15, 2024
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Doping: Pogba reacts to four-year ban, vows to appeal

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French midfield maestro Paul Pogba has opened up on his four-year doping ban handed to him by an Italian anti-doping tribunal for failing a dope test and vows to seek an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Juventus star was banned from football for four years as he failed a doping test following the 3-0 victory over Udinese at the beginning of the 2023/24 Serie A season in August.

Reacting to the ban, the 30-year-old published a statement on his official Instagram account on Thursday, saying he would never deliberately take an enhanced substance and vows to appeal the ban.

“I have today been informed of the Tribunale Nazionale Antidoping’s decision and believe that the verdict is incorrect,” Pogba said.

“I am sad, shocked and heartbroken that everything I have built in my professional playing career has been taken away from me.

“When I am free of legal restrictions the full story will become clear, but I have never knowingly or deliberately taken any supplements that violate anti-doping regulations.

“As a professional athlete, I would never do anything to enhance my performance by using banned substances and have never disrespected or cheated fellow athletes and supporters of any of the teams I have played for, or against.

“As a consequence of the decision announced today, I will appeal this before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”

Pogba failed a doping test on August 20, 2023, after an away Serie A game at Udinese, which he had entirely spent on the bench.

DHEA, which can raise the level of testosterone, was found in Pogba’s body and a second sample also tested positive in October 2023.

He was precautionarily suspended by the anti-doping prosecutor in September 2023 and, consequently, by Juventus as well.

This means the Frenchman has not trained with the rest of his teammates for five months, receiving €2,400 per month, the minimum fee provided by the collective agreement between clubs and the Footballers’ Association for a player suspended for doping.

Meanwhile, Juventus are yet to provide an official statement regarding Pogba’s four-year ban, It is understood that Juventus will speak to Pogba’s entourage before reaching their decision, which could be decided upon after the end of the current season, or perhaps even in June.

Juventus sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli in December 2023 when Pogba was precautionarily suspended said the club would wait for the final level of the ruling before discussing it with his entourage.