Soccer

Paul Pogba ‘sad, shocked and heartbroken’ after being banned for doping

The Juventus midfielder has said he will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Paul Pogba has said he will appeal against his ban
Paul Pogba Paul Pogba has said he will appeal against his ban (Martin Rickett/PA)

Juventus and France midfielder Paul Pogba said he was “sad, shocked and heartbroken” after being banned from football for a doping offence.

The former Manchester United player was on Thursday handed a four-year ban, according to reports in Italy.

The 30-year-old was provisionally suspended by Italy’s national anti-doping tribunal in September after testing positive for testosterone following Juve’s Serie A match with Udinese on August 20, where he was an unused substitute.

And, after the failed test was confirmed by Italian anti-doping body Nado in a second sample in October, the four-year suspension requested by the prosecutor’s office has now reportedly been granted.

Paul Pogba helped France win the World Cup in 2018
France v Croatia – FIFA World Cup 2018 – Final – Luzhniki Stadium Paul Pogba helped France win the World Cup in 2018 (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Pogba has responded by issuing a statement on social media saying he has “never knowingly or deliberately taken any supplements that violate anti-doping regulations”.

He also said he will be lodging an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the ban.

He said on Instagram: “I have today been informed of the Tribunale Nazionale Antidoping’s decision and believe that the verdict is incorrect.

“I am sad, shocked and heartbroken that everything I have built in my professional playing career has been taken away from me.

“When I am free of legal restrictions the full story will become clear, but I have never knowingly or deliberately taken any supplements that violate anti-doping regulations.

“As a professional athlete I would never do anything to enhance my performance by using banned substances and have never disrespected or cheated fellow athletes and supporters of any of the teams I have played for, or against.

“As a consequence of the decision announced today I will appeal this before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”

Pogba became the world’s most expensive footballer when he moved to Manchester United from Juve for £89million in 2016, before rejoining the Italian giants on a free transfer in the summer of 2022.

The 2018 World Cup-winner has featured only sparingly since returning to Turin after a number of injury setbacks, making six Serie A appearances last season and two this term.