The French mid­field­er has hard­ly played late­ly, but may be using banned sub­stances.

Paul Pog­ba is the con­tro­ver­sial Juven­tus mid­field­er. In his youth, he was con­sid­ered a promis­ing star, who had the mak­ings of Mes­si and Ronal­do. But, as often hap­pens, I received big con­tracts and began to regress.

In the pre­vi­ous Serie A sea­son, Pog­ba played only six match­es: he suf­fered from injuries, was unable to get in shape and even thought about end­ing his career at 30 years old. In the new sea­son, things are even worse: after the first round match against Udi­nese, Pog­ba passed a pos­i­tive dop­ing test.

What banned substance was found on Pogba?

Pog­ba spent the entire match against Udi­nese on the bench. But he came on as a sub­sti­tute in the fol­low­ing match­es against Bologna and Empoli, although he did not even play 30 min­utes.

Pog­ba’s tests revealed ele­vat­ed lev­els of testos­terone, one of the main male hor­mones respon­si­ble for mus­cle and bone mass. The foot­baller was giv­en three days to request addi­tion­al tests.

If the pos­i­tive result is con­firmed and the play­er is found guilty, he will appear before the Ital­ian Nation­al Anti-Dop­ing Com­mit­tee. While Pog­ba is tem­porar­i­ly sus­pend­ed:

“The Anti-Dop­ing Tri­bunal has tak­en steps to sus­pend ath­lete Paul Pog­ba as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure. Testos­terone metabo­lites of non-endoge­nous ori­gin have been dis­cov­ered.”

Rafaela Pimen­ta, the Frenchman’s agent, defends the client: “We are wait­ing for addi­tion­al tests, until the results we can­not share our opin­ion. One thing is cer­tain: Pog­ba nev­er want­ed to break the rules.”

What’s at stake for Pogba?

Accord­ing to experts, Pog­ba faces up to two years of dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion. If it is proven that Pog­ba took dop­ing inten­tion­al­ly, the sen­tence could increase to four years.

The pop­u­lar­i­ty of testos­terone as a dop­ing is due to its strong effect on mus­cle strength and mass. It affects the break­down of fat cells. Testos­terone-induced mus­cle cell growth is due to the acti­va­tion of satel­lite cells and the growth of mus­cle cell nuclei.

Pog­ba is con­sid­ered a sym­bol of wast­ed tal­ent — he did not real­ize his poten­tial. But the foot­baller was eager to prove the oppo­site: he refused to move to Sau­di Ara­bia and dreamed of play­ing in Europe again.

“I aged 10 years in 7 months. The last sea­son is the most dif­fi­cult test in life. End­ing my career would mean admit­ting defeat. I have to move for­ward and look for the pos­i­tives. This will be my main vic­to­ry in life,” Pog­ba said before the start of the sea­son.

This is a fair­ly rare case in mod­ern foot­ball when a top play­er is caught dop­ing. Recent­ly, anoth­er scan­dal broke out in Ital­ian foot­ball — Juven­tus was caught in finan­cial fraud.