Paul Pogba’s Testosterone Controversy: The Full Breakdown

Football is no stranger to controversies, and the recent revelation concerning Paul Pogba, the World Champion of 2018, is the latest to rock the sporting world.

Paul Pogba’s recent ordeal began with a doping test carried out in August. The results were distressing.

  • A Sample: The initial test results turned out to be positive for testosterone.
  • B Sample: Hoping for a different outcome, a counter-analysis was requested. Unfortunately for Pogba, it reaffirmed the initial findings.

Gazzetta dello Sport was the first to break the news, closely followed by other prominent Italian media outlets. An informed insider later confirmed the results to AFP.

The Implications of Positive Testosterone Findings

Under the stringent guidelines of the World Anti-Doping Code, an athlete found guilty could face some severe repercussions.

Potential ViolationPotential Suspension Time
Presence of Testosterone MetabolitesUp to four years
Proven unintentional intakePossibly halved to two years
Usage outside of competition unrelated to performance levelReduced to just a few months

But what led to this predicament? Pogba’s close associates had an explanation. They attributed the presence of the testosterone metabolites to a dietary supplement. This wasn’t just any over-the-counter pill; it was prescribed by a doctor Pogba consulted in the US.

“I am coming back stronger.” – Paul Pogba, in an interview with Qatari channel Al-Jazeera

The Clock Ticks for Pogba

With the confirmation of the B sample, the clock started ticking for Pogba. He was given a mere seven days to present his defense to the National Anti-Doping Tribunal. This tribunal is responsible for investigating the case and suggesting appropriate sanctions. The entire process, understandably, will stretch over several weeks.

Italy doesn’t merely view doping as an unethical act in sports; it’s a criminal offense. Following the disclosure of Pogba’s test results, the Turin public prosecutor’s office initiated a judicial investigation.

Juventus Turin’s Reaction

The immediate fallout for Pogba was palpable. He could no longer participate in training sessions with Juventus Turin, a club he rejoined in July 2022 after spending six seasons with Manchester United. The club’s management, taking a cautious approach, suspended his hefty annual salary, estimated at €8 million, at least until 2026.

Despite the mounting pressure, Juventus’ coach, Massimiliano Allegri, voiced his sympathy.

“I am sorry for Paul.” – Massimiliano Allegri, at a press conference
Paul Pogba looking visibly distressed.

A Turbulent Year for Pogba

The doping scandal is the climax of an already tumultuous year and a half for the player.

On the Field:

  • Made only ten appearances for Juventus last season.
  • Battled with a persistent meniscus injury in his right knee.
  • Underwent surgery in September.
  • Missed the chance to compete in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Off the Field:

  • March 2022: A harrowing experience unfolded. Close childhood friends, along with a few familiar faces from Pogba’s old neighborhood, held him hostage. Their aim? To extort a whopping 13 million euros. This wasn’t a simple case of greed; it was a meticulously planned operation involving hooded men armed with rifles and threats to his immediate family.
  • September 2022: The drama didn’t end there. Pogba found himself face to face with relatives suspected of playing a role in his earlier kidnapping.

The 2023-24 season had initially promised a fresh start for Pogba. The shadows of his injury and subsequent surgery lingered, but he was selected for the first match of the Italian Championship. Despite being benched during the anti-doping tests, he was back on the field just a week later, giving fans a glimmer of hope.

The Road Ahead

The controversy is far from over. Pogba, a celebrated footballer with a promising career, now finds himself at a crossroads. As investigations continue and the football world waits with bated breath, only time will reveal whether Pogba can truly come back “stronger”.

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About the Author

Born in Liverpool in 1984, Ian Fletcher, a distinguished betting expert, attained a Master’s in Sports Analytics from the University of Manchester in 2010. Between 2011 and 2019, he was engaged with various English football clubs, focusing on tactical analysis and player performance metrics. Fletcher has contributed to 12 academic papers, emphasizing the role of game tempo and set-piece efficiency. In 2020, he transitioned into the realm of journalism. Presently, Fletcher authors in-depth analytical pieces on football, exploring game dynamics and team strategies, and his expertise is sought after by numerous sports platforms.

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