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Paul Pogba Reacts with Surprise to Four-Year Ban from Football After Failing Doping Test

Star footballer Paul Pogba has been handed a shock four-year ban from the sport after failing a doping test last year. The French midfielder said he was “heartbroken” by the suspension and plans to appeal.

Pogba “Shocked and Devastated” By Ban

In a statement, Paul said he was “shocked and devastated” by the four-year ban. He claims the verdict is “unfair and incorrect” and that he has “never knowingly taken banned substances to enhance performance.”

The 29-year-old was tested after a Juventus match on August 20, 2022. Traces of a banned substance were found, leading to the suspension. Pogba insists he will appeal the ban to get it overturned.

Ban Could End Pogba’s Career

The ban is a massive blow to Pogba’s career. At 29, he is in his prime but being unable to play competitively till 2027 would mean he would return at age 34. This could force the midfielder into premature retirement.

Pogba said “Everything I have built in my career has been taken away from me” by the suspension. He will hope Cas reduces the length of the ban on appeal to give him a chance to resurrect his playing career.

Pogba’s Timeline Since Failed Test

  • August 20, 2023 – He was randomly tested after Juventus’ Serie A opener against Udinese. He did not feature in the match.
  • September 2023 – The sample returned positive results for elevated testosterone levels. Pogba was provisionally suspended.
  • October 2023 – Positive test confirmed in second sample analysis.
  • February 2024 – Italy’s anti-doping prosecutor requests a maximum 4-year ban.
  • February 29, 2024 – Tribunal hands Pogba a four-year suspension from football.

Uncertain Future For Pogba at Juventus

He only rejoined Juventus last summer after leaving Manchester United as a free agent. But his time back at the club has been plagued by injuries and now this doping ban.

Juve can terminate Pogba’s contract following the suspension. But they may wait to discuss next steps with the player before deciding on his future at the club.

He only managed 10 appearances last season because of injury problems. This term, he has played just over 50 minutes in two substitute appearances.

Pogba’s Rollercoaster Career

  • 2009 – Makes senior debut for Manchester United aged 17
  • 2012 – Joins Juventus on free transfer
  • 2016 – Returns to Man United for £89.3 million, then world-record fee
  • 2018 – Stars as France win World Cup in Russia
  • 2022 – Leaves United to rejoin Juve as a free agent
  • 2024 – Hit with a four-year ban for a doping offence

The doping violation adds another twist to the rollercoaster career of Pogba. He broke through at Manchester United as a teenager before joining Juventus where he established himself as a world-class talent.

His performances for France, including in their 2018 World Cup triumph made him one of football’s biggest stars. But his second stint at United was mixed before an injury-ravaged return to Juve.

Allegations of Extortion Against Pogba

He is also embroiled in an extortion case in France. He alleges that an organized gang attempted to extort him for millions of euros.

He claims the extortion bid took place in March 2022 while he was on international duty with France. His brother Mathias is among those facing criminal charges for the alleged extortion attempt.

The case is still being investigated by French police and has not yet gone to trial. But it marked another controversy surrounding Pogba and his family.

The 2022 World Cup winner is known for his versatility, physique, and goalscoring ability from midfield. He will hope to restore his reputation on the pitch once his playing ban ends.

Statement Shows Pogba “Shocked and Heartbroken”

In his statement reacting to the suspension, Pogba said: “I am shocked and heartbroken…I feel saddened and wronged. I’ve always given it my all when playing for the teams I represent.”

“Out of love for football, I have accepted not playing while seeking the truth…I believe the verdict is incorrect and I will appeal. I trust that sooner rather than later, I will be vindicated.”

Pogba maintains that he has “never knowingly taken banned substances” in a bid to enhance his performance throughout his career at the highest level.

The statement shows Pogba’s disbelief and devastation at being handed such a lengthy playing ban. He remains adamant that he is innocent and hopes to be vindicated on appeal.

Could This Be The End of Pogba’s Career?

At just 29 and in his prime years, he would have been hoping to play at the top level for several more seasons. But this ban could force him into early retirement instead.

By 2027, he would be 34 and past his peak. Trying to come back after a four-year absence would be extremely challenging. His reputation has also taken a major hit due to this doping violation.

Unless the suspension gets reduced, this could be a sad premature end to the career of one of football’s biggest stars over the last decade. Pogba’s rollercoaster ride may have reached its final stop.

The French superstar will do everything he can to get the ban overturned or reduced and get back on the pitch again. But at the moment, his future in the sport he loves hangs in the balance.

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