Paul Pogba appears to have reached a critical juncture in his ongoing struggles as the Juventus star and World Cup winner finds himself among the prominent players who have failed an anti-doping test.
Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has been unable to revive his career since leaving Manchester United. In the latest setback to Pogba's already extensive list of issues, the Frenchman tested positive for testosterone, resulting in a failed anti-doping test.
As a consequence, NADO Italia, Italy's anti-doping regulatory body, has provisionally suspended the midfielder from participating in any games. Juventus, his current club, has also released a statement acknowledging Pogba's suspension.
Nota della società— JuventusFC (@juventusfc) September 11, 2023
Pogba's fortunes have taken a downturn since his return to Juventus this summer as a free agent after his contract with Manchester United expired. He suffered a season-long injury in his debut season with the Bianconeri, keeping him out of action for the entire season.
Since his move to Turin, Pogba has made just eight significant appearances and none for the French national team. Failing the doping test could spell the end of his entire career.
Failing an anti-doping test like the one Pogba has faced can result in a suspension from all forms of play for up to four years.
This fact places Pogba's football career in grave jeopardy. At 30 years old, a four-year suspension would prevent him from playing for any club until he reaches the age of 34, nearing the average retirement age for footballers.
Furthermore, Pogba has a history of injuries, and a four-year absence from football would increase the risk of injury following his suspension.
Pogba has also encountered off-field issues, and in a recent interview, he admitted to considering retirement from football altogether due to these problems. It's safe to say that an extended suspension would only intensify thoughts of retirement.
Pogba is not the only player on the list of those who have failed anti-doping tests. Several footballers have faced a similar fate. Here are a few notable cases:
Current Manchester United and Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana made headlines in February 2021 when he received a 12-month UEFA suspension for testing positive for the prohibited substance Furosemide.
He claimed to have unintentionally ingested his pregnant spouse's medication and planned to contest the ruling.
Dutch footballer Edgar Davids, known as the "Pitbull," encountered a major setback in his career when he tested positive for nandrolone.
His doping test failure was part of a larger issue in Serie A during that season, with Davids being the seventh player suspended for testing positive for nandrolone.
Another former Manchester United player, Jaap Stam, also tested positive for nandrolone in the same season as Edgar Davids.
The Dutch center-back received a five-month suspension.
Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, considered one of the greatest players of all time, also failed a doping test in 1991 while playing for Napoli.
Maradona tested positive for cocaine, and he faced further issues with drug use before the 1994 FIFA World Cup.