Juventus star Paul Pogba has tested positive for testosterone doping, and his future with the club now hangs in the balance. The doping revelation comes as a significant blow to the French international, and Juventus will now have to determine how to proceed with his contract, considering the potential risk of a long-term ban.
The situation escalated as Pogba’s back-up samples also tested positive for traces of testosterone, casting uncertainty on his future at Juventus. The maximum penalty for such a breach of doping rules could lead to a ban of up to four years, posing a significant threat to the 30-year-old midfielder’s career.
Pogba had already faced provisional suspension by Juventus pending the results of the doping tests, which initially detected positive traces in August. The former Manchester United star’s troubles began after a random drug test on the opening day of the season, following Juventus’ 3-0 victory over Udinese. Despite being an unused substitute in the match, Pogba was subjected to anti-doping testing after the game, revealing traces of testosterone.
Following the initial positive results, Pogba and his team insisted on a counter-analysis, the results of which were published recently. Unfortunately for the midfielder, the back-up samples also confirmed traces of testosterone, intensifying the potential consequences he may face.
The severity of the situation implies that Pogba could be subject to a four-year ban, though he has the option to submit a plea bargain to reduce the sentence to two years. The plea bargain would require an admission of the alleged doping, citing it as accidental rather than voluntary.
Juventus, faced with this crisis, has the authority to terminate Pogba’s contract, potentially saving approximately £26 million in wages. Pogba, currently earning £8.6 million per year in Turin, has three years remaining on his contract.
This doping scandal adds further adversity to Pogba’s recent struggles at Juventus, where injuries limited his appearances to just eight in Serie A last season. Returning to fitness this season, he managed two appearances before the provisional ban was enforced by Italian anti-doping authorities.
The football community now awaits further developments as Juventus grapples with the decision on Pogba’s contract, and Pogba himself faces the daunting prospect of a potentially lengthy ban from the sport.
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