Paul Pogba's career on the line as prosecutors ask for four-year ban

Juventus midfielder facing heavy sanction after failed doping test in September

Paul Pogba in action during the Serie A match between Empoli and Juventus at Stadio Carlo Castellani on September 3, 2023. Getty Images
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Paul Pogba's career at the top level could well be over after anti-doping prosecutors in Italy requested a maximum four-year ban for the Juventus midfielder.

Pogba’s positive doping test, in which elevated levels of testosterone were detected, was revealed in September following an exam after Juve’s game at Udinese on August 20. The midfielder has made no public comment on the case.

He has chosen not to make a plea bargain with Italy's anti-doping agency, meaning his case will now be tried by the country's anti-doping court.

Should a four-year ban be confirmed, it would all-but send the 30-year-old into retirement.

Four-year bans are standard practice in the World Anti-Doping code, however, there are many precedents of them being reduced where an athlete can successfully prove they ingested a banned substance unintentionally.

Yet even a reduced sentence – with some observers speculating that a two-year ban is more likely – would leave the 2018 France World Cup winner's career very much in the balance.

The case is another sorry chapter for a player who has been plagued by injuries since rejoining Juventus from Manchester United in July 2022.

He was ruled out of France’s World Cup defence last year by a knee injury and has played just eight Serie A matches for Juve across the past two seasons.

There has also been a police investigation in France into allegations that Pogba was targeted by extortionists, including by his older brother Mathias, who has denied any wrongdoing.

Updated: December 07, 2023, 4:28 PM