Paul Pogba reacts to long doping ban: “Heartbroken”

Paul Pogba reacts to the Italian anti-doping court’s decision – and speaks clearly about the four-year ban.

Paul Pogba is in shambles – the former football world champion’s career could be over. The 30-year-old Frenchman has been banned for four years for doping; Pogba considers the verdict to be “incorrect”.

The fallen star was “sad, shocked” and “heartbroken,” Pogba said via Instagram. “When I am free from legal restrictions, the whole story will be cleared up, but: I have never knowingly or intentionally taken any substances that violate the anti-doping guidelines.”

And further: “As a professional athlete, I would never enhance my performance with banned substances and have not betrayed my colleagues and fans of the teams I played for or against.” Pogba announced that he wanted to go to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The decision was previously announced on Thursday. The Italian anti-doping court followed the prosecutor’s request in terms of punishment (read more about this here). Pogba, a professional from Juventus Turin, tested positive for testosterone and was provisionally banned on September 11th. The B sample he requested was also positive. In an initial reaction, Juventus said it had “taken note” of the decision.

Career at the end?

“The Frenchman’s adventure in bianconeri ends, perhaps even his career,” wrote the Gazzetta dello Sport. The former 105 million euro man, the 2018 World Cup champion, has reached rock bottom.

For Pogba, who is a global player with 61 million followers on Instagram, the decline continues. At the World Cup in Russia he impressed as a dynamic and technically adept driver, and in the 4-2 final against Croatia he set the course with the goal to make it 3-1. Two years earlier he had moved from Turin to Manchester United for a then record fee of over 100 million – but he ultimately did not live up to his great hopes in England.

When he returned to Italy in 2022, Pogba wanted to start again with a contract until 2026. But injury problems bothered him and prevented him from taking part in the World Cup in Qatar. Pogba then picked himself up again before the doping news shocked his club. Those around him said that the positive test was probably due to a nutritional supplement that had been prescribed to him by a doctor in the USA. It has serious consequences for Pogba.