There aren’t exactly a whole lot of ways for Paul Pogba’s second stint at Juventus to get much worse than it already has.
But we might have just found one of the few that makes that possible.
According to Italian news agency ANSA on Monday, the oft-injured Pogba failed a random doping test after Juventus’ season-opening win over Udinese last month. Despite being an unused sub in the game, Pogba was one of Juve’s players randomly chosen to undergo the test, which reportedly revealed elevated levels of testosterone. Per league rules, there must now be a second sample tested within the next three days to determine for sure if Pogba did indeed have elevated levels of testosterone in his system during the time the tests were conducted on Aug. 20.
UPDATE NO. 1: Pogba has been provisionally suspended by the National Anti-Doping Tribunal due to his positive test. This is said to be a precautionary measure after Pogba was found in violation of Articles 2.1 and 2.2 of the league bylaws.
UPDATE NO. 2: Juventus have issued a brief statement following the announcement of Pogba’s initial suspension:
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.
UPDATE NO. 3: Pogba’s agent, Rafaela Pimenta, has issued the following statement to Tuttosport on Monday night:
“We’re waiting for the counter-analysis and we can’t say anything now. For sure, Pogba never wanted to bend the rules — I can guarantee that.”
FLASH | Paul Pogba risultato positivo al testosterone in un controllo dopo la partita Udinese-Juventus. #ANSA— Agenzia ANSA (@Agenzia_Ansa) September 11, 2023
Pogba, who has since made two substitute appearances against Bologna and Empoli, can request that a second sample be tested to confirm the validity of the original test. If the B sample does end up being positive for elevated levels of testosterone, Pogba will be immediately suspended before a verdict is announced.
If he is found to have taken performance-enhancing drugs, Pogba risks a suspension as long as four years.
Pogba’s current Juventus contract runs through 2026. He is one of Juve’s highest paid players.
Check back for more on this developing story as the day goes on.