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Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba was banned for the maximum penalty of four years by Italy’s anti-doping court on Thursday after the World Cup winner tested positive for testosterone.

Pogba’s positive test was announced in September, stemming from an exam that was carried out after Juventus’ game at Udinese on Aug. 20. Pogba did not play in the Serie A match but was on Juve’s bench.

Pogba opted not to make a plea bargain with Italy’s anti-doping agency and so the case was tried before the country’s anti-doping court. A person with direct knowledge of the case confirmed the verdict to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the sentence was not made public due to Italy’s privacy laws.

Pogba could appeal the decision to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The sentence could end Pogba’s career, as the France international turns 31 next month.

Four-year bans are standard under the World Anti-Doping Code but can be reduced in cases where an athlete can prove their doping was not intentional, if the positive test was a result of contamination or if they provide “substantial assistance” to help investigators.

Pogba rejoined Juventus from Manchester United in 2022 but struggled with injuries, playing in only six Serie A matches for Juventus last season and two this season. He was ruled out of France’s run to the World Cup final that year due to a knee injury.

Pogba helped France win the previous World Cup, scoring in the 4-2 win over Croatia in the final. He played in 178 matches for Juventus from 2012-16.

Reporting by The Associated Press.


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