by Sedara Philip
Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has been provisionally suspended from playing because of an anti-doping offence.
Italy’s national anti-doping tribunal (Nado) said Pogba returned a test with elevated levels of testosterone after Juve’s 3-0 win at Udinese on 20 August.
France international Pogba, 30, was an unused substitute but was selected at random for post-match drug testing.
If found guilty of doping, he could face a ban of between two and four years.
Juventus said in a statement: “Juventus Football Club announces that today, 11 September, 2023, the footballer Paul Labile Pogba received a precautionary suspension order from the National Anti-Doping Tribunal following the results of tests carried out on 20 August, 2023.
“The club reserves the right to consider the next procedural steps.”
Nado said Pogba had violated anti-doping rules when they found the prohibited substance “non-endogenous testosterone metabolites” and the results were “consistent with the exogenous origin of the target compounds”.
Testosterone is a hormone that increases the endurance of athletes.
Pogba has three days to produce a counter-analysis of the result to Nado.
Juventus re-signed Pogba on a four-year deal in July 2022 after the player ran down his contract at Manchester United and left as a free agent.
However, Pogba’s return to Turin has been beset by persistent injury problems which also saw him miss last year’s World Cup in Qatar.
Pogba has played a combined total of 51 minutes as a substitute this season in games with Bologna and Empoli.
Last season he managed 108 minutes over six Serie A games, three brief appearances and one assist in the Europa League, and 11 minutes in the Coppa Italia – a total of 162 minutes and no goals.
Pogba’s injury problems resurfaced recently, with Juventus boss Massimo Allegri saying the player picked up a minor back problem following his appearance against Empoli.