Paul Pogba releases statement after being hit with four-year football ban

The World Cup winner said he will be taking his appeal to the the Court of Arbitration for Sport after he was banned from football for four years for a doping offence

Jamie Braidwood
Thursday 29 February 2024 14:50 GMT
Paul Pogba Suspended After Failed Doping Test.

Paul Pogba says he will appeal against his four-year ban from football after testing positive for a banned substance.

In a statement, the former World Cup winner and Juventus midfielder said he was “sad, shocked and heartbroken” after the ruling from Italy’s national anti-doping body.

Pogba insisted he has “never knowingly or deliberately” violated anti-doping rules after he tested positive for testosterone in September.

The France international was provisionally suspended before a counter-analysis on a second sample taken from Pogba also returned a positive result for testosterone.

Pogba turns 31 in March and would be nearing 35 by the end of the four-year ban if the punishment is upheld, potentially spelling the end of his football career.

In a statement, the former Manchester United player confirmed he would be taking his appeal to the the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

“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.”

Pogba last played for Juventus in September and made just one start for the club after leaving United in 2022 (Getty Images)

Pogba won the World Cup with France in 2018, two years after he became the most expensive footballer in the world when Manchester United signed him for a record £89m.

One of the most exciting midfielders of his generation when at his peak, Pogba played a key role in France’s World Cup win but he often struggled to live up to expectations at Old Trafford.

In six years, Pogba won the Europa League and Carabao Cup but United failed to compete for the biggest trophies on a regular basis in a disappointing period for the club overall.

Pogba returned to Juventus, the club where he first established himself as one of the most exciting midfielders in the world and won four Serie A titles between 2012 and 2016, but struggled with injuries.

After missing the World Cup in December 2022, Pogba was looking to return to the Juventus team at the start of the season in August. He was an unused substitute in Juventus’s 3-0 win against Udinese on the opening day of the season before making appearances off the bench against Bologna and Empoli.

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