Juventus Star Paul Pogba Reacts To Being Handed A Four-Year BAN For a Doping Offence.

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has been banned from football for four years for a doping offence.

The France World Cup winner, who has been suspended since last September, was tested after Juventus' game against Udinese on August 20, 2023. He did not play in the match but was on the bench.

The results showed elevated levels of testosterone, a hormone that increases athletes’ endurance.

Meanwhile, a second test sample has now been checked and he tested positive for doping, reports Sky in Italy.

Pogba who is in his second stint at Italian club Juventus since leaving Manchester United in 2022, has now been handed a four-year ban, considered among the strongest possible punishments for the offence.

Italy's National Anti-Doping Tribunal (TNA) accepted the request of the Anti-Doping Prosecutor's Office to hand out the four-year ban having violated anti-doping rules - which is the standard length of ban under the World Anti-Doping Code (WADA).

The ban starts from when Pogba first tested positive, so the France international is banned until August 2027. 

The punishment could effectively bring an end to Pogba’s footballing career as the midfielder be will turn 31 years old in March. He will be 34 years old when the ban stops, raising doubts over whether his career will continue after that.

Four-years ban are standard under the World Anti-Doping Code but can be reduced in cases where an athlete can prove their doping was not intentional, if the positive test was a result of contamination or if they provide "substantial assistance" to help investigators.

Since his return to Italy, he was hampered by injuries. He played in 178 matches for Juve from 2012 to '16.

He was ruled out of France's run to the World Cup final in 2022 due to a knee injury.

There has also been an ongoing police investigation in France into allegations that Pogba was targeted by extortionists -- including by his older brother Mathias, who has denied any wrongdoing.

In a statement later on Thursday, Pogba confirmed he is 'sad, shocked and heartbroken' at the ban, and will appeal against it in the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

 He insisted he has never taken banned substances and would tell his full story 'when I am free of legal restrictions'.

"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."

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