The break in club football, due to international matches, did not go without incidents. The loudest scandal in recent days was Paul Pogba’s positive doping test. Currently, the Frenchman faces a ban ranging from 2 to 4 years.
Let’s dive into details.
Pogba failed the test because of a dietary supplement. Juventus has already suspended his salary and might terminate his contract. On September 11, it became known that Paul Pogba tested positive for testosterone after the match against Udinese (interestingly, he did not even appear on the field during that match). He was found in violation of Articles 2.1 and 2.2 of the Anti-Doping Code since his test showed non-endogenous testosterone metabolites. This means that such testosterone was not produced by the body but was externally introduced.
The next day, the National Anti-Doping Tribunal of Italy announced that the Frenchman was temporarily suspended – a precautionary measure. So far, Juventus has only released one statement on this matter, stating that the “club reserves the right to consider further procedural actions”. It’s certain that the Frenchman will miss his team’s upcoming matches. You can bet on Serie A matches on Mostbet’s website. A detailed review is available at mostbet-bd-mostbet.com.
What does the player and his representatives say?
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the player and his representatives seem to not dispute that doping indeed entered the midfielder’s system.
For instance, La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Paul informed Juventus’ doctors that he took substances not approved by the bianconeri’s medical staff. Nicolo Skira reports that the club might terminate the player’s contract if a re-test also turns out positive. Moreover, Juventus has already suspended the player’s salary, as a positive doping result allows for such an action under Article 5.5 of the contract, signed in January of this year by the Italian Football Federation, Serie A, and the Italian Association of Footballers.
It is also reported that Pogba might have failed the doping test due to a dietary supplement he bought in the USA on the advice of a friend who is a doctor, not associated with the Turin club. In this case, it’s about negligent use of doping. This threatens the footballer with a two-year disqualification. However, if Paul took testosterone intentionally, he could be banned for up to four years from football.
It’s worth noting that Pogba is currently 30 years old.
The agent of player Rafael Pimenta briefly commented on the situation, indirectly confirming that doping was indeed found in Pogba’s system, but it was unintentional: “We are waiting for the opportunity to formulate a response and cannot say anything for now. There is no doubt that Paul never wanted to break the rules.”
Juventus has mostly remained silent, waiting for the situation to develop. Allegri did not comment on this scandal. The last mention of the Frenchman by the coach was after the match against Empoli in early September when Paul sustained an injury that turned out not to be very serious.
However, the French national team coach Didier Deschamps supported Pogba: “I don’t know all the facts. The investigation is ongoing. But so much negativity surrounds Paul now… It’s difficult. I still remember how we discussed the coronavirus and vaccination. But now it’s about metabolites. Questions of ‘why’ and ‘how’ arise, but I don’t think even Pogba himself knows the answer, unfortunately. It’s hard for him. I have always supported him. And this is yet another blow for Paul.”
Since his return to Juventus, he has only played 213 minutes. He refused the Saudis and was looking to revive his career
Pogba’s return to Juventus is arguably one of the worst transfers of the 21st century. Somewhat similar to Eden Hazard’s move from Chelsea to Real Madrid, even though Juventus didn’t pay anything for the Frenchman – signing him as a free agent.
However, by offering Pogba to return, Juventus gave the French midfielder the highest salary in the team. Including all bonuses and before tax deductions, it was over 10 million euros. We won’t even break down how much each shot, pass, and dribble cost Juventus, as was done in the case of Hazard and Real Madrid.
Pogba’s statistical performance this year at Juve is so limited and so low that it’s shocking.
The reason for this is that since July 2022, Paul has been more in treatment than playing and training. Last season he missed 53 matches due to injuries of varying severity:
- Knee surgery – 21 matches
- Thigh muscle strain – 7 matches
- Meniscus injury – 7 matches
- Groin muscle strain – 6 matches
- Abductor muscle tear – 6 matches
- Hamstring injury – 6 matches
- Muscle fatigue – 1 match
But he approached the start of the new season in high spirits. Paul’s motivation is believable, as during the summer, Saudi clubs Al-Ahli and Al-Ittihad tried to lure him. Juventus was open to negotiations, but Pogba refused everyone. Although, reportedly, he was offered a three-year contract worth 150 million euros.