Paul Pogba admitted to Juventus that he took some nutritional supplements not knowing they contained testosterone that led to his positive drug test and provisional four-year ban, a source told ESPN.
The France midfielder is waiting for the result of his backup B sample, which should come before the end of the week, but it is expected to be positive.
A source told ESPN that the food supplements were prescribed to him by one of his friends who is a doctor in Miami — the particular food supplements are obtainable in the U.S. but not Italy.
Pogba, 30, told Juventus he did not know there was testosterone in the supplements he consumed but recognised his mistake, a source told ESPN, and that he regrets not having informed his club about purchasing the product and not asking for permission from club doctors to take it.
The test 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.
Pending a trial and testing of a backup B sample, Pogba risks a suspension of up to four years.
The Italian club have stopped paying Pogba his €8 million-per-year ($8.6m) salary, a source told ESPN, and have made him aware that, if he is suspended, there is a possibility of terminating his contract, which runs until June 2026.
Pogba will argue in his defence that he took the supplement without knowing it contained testosterone. He could also face criminal charges, with drug doping a criminal offence in Italy.
“We are waiting for the results of the counter-analysis and cannot say anything until then,” Pogba’s agent Rafaela Pimenta said in a statement reported by Italian media.
“The only certain thing is that Paul Pogba never intended to break the rules.”