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Paul Pogba’s representative has said Sky Sports News who “never wanted to break the rules” after the Juventus midfielder was provisionally suspended for an anti-doping violation.

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Pogba has been suspended by Italy’s national anti-doping tribunal after returning an adverse sample.

The French international tested positive for testosterone, a hormone that increases athletes’ stamina, in a random drug test after Juventus’ Serie A match against Udinese on August 20, when he was an unused substitute.

A statement issued to Sky Sports News Pogba’s representative Rafaela Pimenta said: “We are waiting for the counter-analysis and until then we cannot say anything.

“The truth is that Paul Pogba never wanted to break the rules.”

After the Italian anti-doping body issued a statement on Monday night confirming Pogba’s suspension, Juventus said the club would now consider “the next procedural steps.”

Pending a trial and supporting “B” sample evidence, he risks a suspension of up to four years.

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 gave positive for testosterone, reported on Monday, September 1, 2023. September 11, 2023. Italy's anti-doping agency announced the positive test.
If convicted of doping, Pogba could face a ban of between two and four years.

The news is another negative note for a player who has been plagued by injuries since returning to Juventus from Manchester United just over a year ago.

He was ruled out of France’s run to the World Cup final last year due to a knee injury and played just six Serie A games for Juventus last season.

Pogba is yet to start a game this season but has made two substitute appearances, last playing in the 2-0 win at Empoli.

There has also been an ongoing police investigation in France into allegations that Pogba was targeted by extortionists, including his older brother Mathias, who denied any wrongdoing.

It is also another blow for Juventus after a season marked by investigations into false accounting and irregular reporting of salary payments. Legal cases resulted in the Turin club being eliminated by UEFA from European competition this season.

Pogba: “I almost left football because of an alleged blackmail plot”

Earlier on Monday, Pogba said he was almost forced to quit football after allegedly being blackmailed by an organized crime gang.

Mathias, the 30-year-old midfielder’s brother, was arrested in September 2022 on suspicion of being involved in the alleged plot, which Paul said amounted to an attempt to extort £11.1m from him.

Mathias was released from prison in December and denies the charges.

Paul Pogba reported the incident to Turin prosecutors in July last year, shortly after leaving Manchester United on a free transfer to rejoin Juventus.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Paul Pogba said: “When there is money you have to be careful. Money changes people. It can divide a family. It can create a war.

“Sometimes I was alone thinking: ‘I don’t want to have money anymore. I just don’t want to play anymore. I just want to be with normal people, so that they love me for me, not for the fame, not for the money.

“Sometimes it’s hard. In this life you have to go through it. It will only make me stronger.”

Laure Beccuau, Paris prosecutor, said the investigation was looking into allegations of “blackmail by an armed gang, kidnapping and membership in a criminal conspiracy.”

Pogba’s 15 months of struggle

June 1, 2022 – Manchester United announce that Pogba will leave Old Trafford for the second time at the end of his contract.

July 2022 – Reports an alleged blackmail plot to Turin prosecutors, which he claims amounted to an attempt to extort £11.1m from him.

July 11, 2022 – He arrives at Juventus for the second time, signing a four-year contract in Turin.

July 26, 2022 – He suffers a meniscus injury that keeps him out for two months.

November, 2022 – Surgery on a knee injury leaves the midfielder out of France’s campaign at the World Cup in Qatar.

February 28, 2023 – Finally he debuted for the second time with Juve in the 4-2 victory against Torino.

March 9, 2023 – Massimiliano Allegri did not play in the Europa League match against Freiburg after arriving late to a team dinner.

March 13, 2023 – Suffers muscle injury in training; He doesn’t play again for a month.

May 14, 2023 – Had his first league start against Cremonese, but only lasted 23 minutes due to injury. An injury to his left thigh was later discovered, ending his season.

August 27, 2023 – Makes his first appearance of the season as a second-half substitute in the 1-1 draw against Bologna.

September 11, 2023 – Provisionally suspended from football for anti-doping violation.

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