What is testosterone? Paul Pogba news as anti-doping suspension explained - how long Pogba could be banned
Paul Pogba was once the world's most valuable footballer - but his future in the game is now in great jeopardy
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Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has been provisionally suspended from playing football as a result of a failed drugs test.
The former Manchester United star was found to have elevated levels of testosterone in his system after Juve’s 3-0 victory against Udinese on 20 August.
The 2018 World Cup winner was an unused substitute in the game, but was randomly selected for post-match drug testing.
Pogba has three days to produce a counter-analysis of the result to Italy’s national anti-doping tribunal (Nado) if he is to avoid facing a serious ban from the sport.
But what is testosterone and how long could Pogba be banned from football if he is found guilty?
Here is everything you need to know.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone found in humans as well as in other animals. In men, the testicles primarily make testosterone. Women’s ovaries also make testosterone but in much smaller amounts.
Healthline explains that production of testosterone starts to increase significantly during puberty and it slowly decreases after the age of 30.
Testosterone is linked to the sex drive, but it also affects bone and muscle mass, as well as the way that men store fat in the body.
It is also a hormone that can significantly increase the endurance of athletes.
How long could Paul Pogba be suspended for?
Paul Pogba’s career in football could be left in great jeopardy if he is found guilty of doping and he could face a ban of between two and four years.
Nado said Pogba had violated anti-doping rules when it found the prohibited substance “non-endogenous testosterone metabolites” and the results were consistent with the exogenous origin of the target compounds.”
Juventus reacted to the news with a statement which said: “Juventus Football Club announces that today, 11 September 2023, the footballer Paul Labile Pogba received a precautionary suspension from the National Anti-Doping Tribunal following the results of the tests carried out on 20 August 2023.
“The club reserves the right to consider the next procedural steps.”
Pogba has three days to produce a counter-analysis of the result to Nado, if he wishes to avoid a ban.
Pogba’s agent, Rafaela Pimenta also added that she was: “awaiting the second sample and cannot have an opinion before the results.”
She added: “What is certain is that Paul Pogba never wanted to break a rule.”
When did Paul Pogba leave Manchester United?
Paul Pogba returned to Manchester United in 2016 for a then world record fee of £80m.
The Frenchman had lifted four consecutive league titles in Italy before arriving at Old Trafford, but he struggled to emulate that success in the Premier League.
Pogba’s time in Manchester was affected by injury and he ended his six-year stay with one Europa League title and one League Cup with both trophies coming in his first season.
His best individual campaign came in 2018/19 when he won a place in the PFA Team of the Year after scoring 13 goals.
He ultimately left Man Utd in the summer of 2022 to rejoin Juventus, but he made just six appearances last season in a disastrous campaign which saw the club get deducted 15 points.
Pogba was ruled out of his country's World Cup squad in 2022 and persistent injuries mean he has not represented Les Bleus in over a year.