Paul Pogba suspended four years for doping, the descent into hell of a world champion

Sometimes a career depends on a twist of fate. Nine letters, a name and a number written on the sheet of a match finally spent on the substitutes’ bench. This August 20, 2023, Paul Pogba watches from the sidelines as his Juventus Turin teammates win against Udinese on the first day of the Italian championship. In poor shape, despite the summer physical preparation, the “Pioche” remains on the bench.

At the end of the match, the 2018 world champion was however summoned for an anti-doping test. Tested positive for testosterone and provisionally suspended on September 11, 2023, Pogba, who claims to have involuntarily ingested the substance, was sanctioned for four years banned from entering the grounds by the Italian national anti-doping organization. Information revealed, Thursday February 29, by the transalpine media and confirmed to Agence France-Presse by his club. At this stage, it is not known whether the person concerned intends to appeal this decision. Yet another twist in the career of the 30-year-old footballer, of which he has gradually lost track over the last two years.

“We are all really saddened by what happened to him. Everyone would like to help him because he was unanimously appreciated for his sense of collective, but no one can because it is beyond us allsighs a member of the French team staff. It’s terrible everything that’s happened to him over the past two years. » The selection has long been a refuge for Pogba. When he is out of breath at the club, the Blues allow him to breathe.

Read also: Paul Pogba confirmed positive for testosterone, according to a second opinion

Two years ago, the midfielder definitively became the boss of the France team, on the pitch and in the locker room. In October 2021, he won the Nations League, his second trophy with the Blues after the 2018 World Cup. A year before the one which is to take place in Qatar, Paul Pogba feels good despite lackluster performances with Manchester United . But it is with the Blues that the problems begin.

During an ordinary striking exercise at Clairefontaine in November, Pogba injured his thigh on a throw from… Didier Deschamps. The coach, who is still talking to his player today, does not imagine that Pogba will be absent for almost three months. On his return, he is recalled in March 2022. For what constitutes his last stint in the selection, and one of the most significant moments of his career.

Back and forth between the infirmary and the field

On March 29, Pogba put on the captain’s armband of the Blues for the first time, against South Africa, in Lille. But ten days earlier, on the night of March 19 to 20, the native of Roissy-en-Brie was sequestered for several hours in an apartment in Seine-et-Marne by old acquaintances, who remained threatening for several months.

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