Paul Pogba has been suspended from playing football after testing positive for testosterone in a doping test, Italy’s national anti-doping tribunal confirmed on Monday.
The midfielder was tested after Juventus' 3-0 win at Udinese on August 20, a game in which he was an unused substitute.
Pogba's test results showed elevated levels of testosterone, a hormone that increases athletes’ endurance and has now been suspended as a precautionary measure.
“In acceptance of the instance proposed by the National Anti-doping Prosecutor, it has provided for the provisional suspension of the athlete Paul Labile Pogba,” NADO Italia said in a statement.
The tribunal said Pogba had violated anti-doping rules when they found the prohibited substance “non-endogenous testosterone metabolites”, adding that the results were “consistent with the exogenous origin of the target compounds”.
A second test sample will now be checked before Pogba can be said to have failed the doping test.
If the 'B' sample is clear then the entire test will be considered as negative. Punishment for a failed drug test can be as severe as a four-year ban if doping was found to be intentional.
Pogba has since made brief cameos in a 1-1 draw with Bologna and the 2-0 win at Empoli, but is currently sidelined with a back injury picked up during latter match.
Massimiliano Allegri said last week: "Pogba felt a pain in the back, we'll see what the exams say. Too bad because [his appearance] went well."
Juventus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Additional reporting by Reuters.