Pogba handed four year ban

French international and world cup winner Paul Pogba has been handed a four-year ban after a failed anti-doping test in September 2023.

The Juventus midfielder, now age 30, believes that the verdict is "incorrect" and will file an appeal to the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS).

The former Manchester United midfielder was initially handed a provisional suspension by The Italian Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) in September 2023 after failing a doping test following his side's 3-0 win against Udinese on August 20.

FIFA's guidelines for sanctions on players that fail to pass an anti-doping test ranges between two and four years, this depends on whether it can be proved that the athlete in question willingly took the forbidden substance in order to enhance their performance.

The 2013 Golden Boy winner released a statement on his Instagram account referencing the situation, stating: "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 was initially suspended in September after his test detected testosterone not produced by the body, according to NADO.

The Italian governing body stated that testosterone not produced by the body was detected in the 'A sample' Pogba provided. After the Frenchmen was hit with a provisional suspension a "B sample" was sent for further testing at Acqua Acetosa clinic in Rome, which only confirmed the failed result.

Pogba who was an unused substitute in the game prior to his screening, returned to Juventus on a free transfer from Manchester United in the summer of 2022, but constant fitness issues have seen the Frenchmen become a shell of the player who once broke the world transfer record, appearing only 10 times for "Old lady" since his return.

Pogba's lawyers had rejected a plea deal in hopes of a lighter sentence for the 2018 World Cup winner, after claiming he had accidentally ingested the substance that caused the positive test.

Pogba, who will turn 31 next month, will be hoping his appeal is successful, or else he would not be able to return to a pitch until he is 35, a ban that would practically end his career as a professional athlete.