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Paul Pogba: Juventus midfielder tests positive again in counter-analysis tests and will fight to clear name

Ex-Manchester United midfielder Pogba was provisionally suspended for an anti-doping offence; if found guilty of doping, a suspension of up to four years could be handed out to Pogba; Frenchman rejoined Juve from United last summer and has made eight Serie A appearances so far

FILE - Juventus' Paul Pogba controls the ball during an Italian Cup soccer match between Internazionale and Juventus, at the Giuseppe Meazza San Siro Stadium, in Milan, Italy, April 26, 2023. Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has tested positive for testosterone it was reported on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023. Italy...s anti-doping agency announced the positive test.
Image: Juventus' Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba will fight to clear his name, Sky Sports News understands, after the counter-analysis ‘B sample’ also returned a positive result for a prohibited substance.

The 30-year-old now has to prove his innocence to avoid a lengthy ban from football - and he intends to have everything he has taken rigorously tested to find how it got into his body.

It has now emerged that DHEA was the substance discovered in both samples, which helps the body produce other hormones, such as testosterone.

After the initial positive result in September and a provisional suspension from playing, Pogba's agent Rafaela Pimenta insisted: "Paul never wanted to break the rules".

And Pogba has no intention of simply accepting the finding, with the player now expected to request a hearing with an independent tribunal.

It will be up to him - not the anti-doping authorities - to prove he did not intentionally break the rules and, contrary to several reports, Pogba did not tell anyone at Juventus that he had taken a banned substance, Sky Sports News understands.

As far as the anti-doping bodies NADO Italia and WADA are concerned, the onus is on the athlete to be clean, and they are 100 per cent responsible for what goes into their body.

But the degree of fault and/or negligence will need to be established to decide whether or not he is banned, and for how long, and there are other factors that could impact the severity of any punishment.

This process can take a significant amount of time and the resulting conclusions can also be appealed but - as it stands - Pogba is facing the very real possibility of a four-year ban from the game.

He could therefore miss next summer's European Championships and the 2026 World Cup in North and Central America, and his Juventus contract, which expires in 2026, would be on the line.

The former Manchester United midfielder was provisionally suspended on September 11 after a test taken following the Serie A game against Udinese on August 20 returned a positive result.

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