Paul Pogba targeted with four-year suspension from Italian anti-doping authority

The heaviest penalty provided for by the world anti-doping code for testosterone use hangs in his face

Paul Pogba targeted with four-year suspension from Italian anti-doping authority

The heaviest penalty provided for by the world anti-doping code for testosterone use hangs in his face. The Italian anti-doping prosecution on Thursday, December 7, requested a four-year suspension against Paul Pogba, who had tested positive on August 20, following the match on the first day of Serie A between his club, Juventus Turin , and Udinese.

This heavy requisition, initially announced by La Gazzetta dello sport, was confirmed to AFP by a source within the Turin team. “I can confirm that we received this notification from the anti-doping authority this [Thursday] morning, with four years [of suspension] required,” this source told AFP.

Paul Pogba has been provisionally suspended since September 11 and the officialization of his positive test. The second opinion requested by the French midfielder, world champion with the Blues in 2018, also turned out to be positive for testosterone on October 6.

Muscular power and resistance to effort

Testosterone is a steroid hormone secreted naturally by the sexual organs in humans. This molecule can also be used in a therapeutic setting to treat serious pathologies. In sport, testosterone is considered a doping product. As such, it appears on the list of prohibited products published by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which classifies the substance in the category of anabolic androgenic steroids.

Administered artificially (by injection, orally in tablet form, by a patch or gel applied directly to the skin), testosterone helps improve performance. It is mainly used to increase muscle power and increases resistance to physical effort. The hormone also acts as a psychostimulant on concentration and motivation.

The heavy sanction required by the Italian anti-doping prosecutor means that the player was, during the investigation procedure, not able to prove the non-intentionality of doping (in this case, the suspension can be reduced to two years). If Pogba manages to establish that the use of testosterone took place outside of competition and has no link with an effort to improve his sporting performance, the Italian Anti-Doping Agency even plans a suspension reduced to three months. The prosecution obviously considers that the player is not in this situation either.

It is now up to the Italian national anti-doping court to decide on the player's suspension. If the requisition of the prosecution was followed, the sporting future of Paul Pogba, 30, would be considerably restricted.