Il Corriere dello Sport journalist Alessandro Barbano believes the request for a four-year ban for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba is not justified and would be like a ‘lifetime suspension’ for the French midfielder.
Tests found DHEA in Pogba’s body, which can raise the level of testosterone. The former Manchester United midfielder has been suspended by Juventus and hasn’t trained with the rest of the team for several months.
Pogba, 30, returned to the Allianz Stadium as a free agent in 2022 but has been struggling with injuries in his second spell in Turin making just eight appearances with the Serie A giants before failing a doping test in Udinese this past August.
Given the circumstances, Il Corriere dello Sport journalist Barbano believes the request from the anti-doping prosecutor is out of proportion.
“A four-year ban for an athlete who is 30 would be like a lifetime suspension. That was the request made by the anti-doping commission,” Barbano wrote in Friday’s printed edition of the newspaper on page nine.
“Did Pogba do it to improve the quantity and quality of his performance in a game? Not at all. The Juventus champion took an integrator while in the middle of a long and troubled recovery. Whether he took it consciously or not, it didn’t influence his performance nor condition the result of a competition.
“A four-year ban would be justified if he had consciously taken banned substances to alter the result of a competition,” the journalist continued.
“It’s absurd if it refers to a behaviour that has nothing to do with a tournament and is linked to an injury. It’s incredible that the code of sports conduct does not consider such a huge difference.”
Pogba signed a four-year contract at Juventus in 2022, so his current deal runs out in June 2026, but the Serie A giants could terminate the agreement if the Frenchman is found guilty and is handed a lengthy ban.