Footballer Paul Pogba banned for four years for doping. GETTY IMAGES

Paul Pogba has been suspended from professional football for four years after testing positive for testosterone. It could be the end of his career, but if it is not, he will return to the stadiums at the age of 34.

France star Paul Pogba is "shocked and heartbroken" after being banned from football for four years by Italy's anti-doping court following a positive test for testosterone last August, his club Juventus said on Thursday. 

Anti-doping prosecutors requested the decision for the former Manchester United midfielder after he tested positive following Juventus' first Serie A match of the season against Udinese on 20 August. He was listed as an unused substitute in the match. 

A month later, the B sample confirmed the presence of testosterone, leading to his provisional suspension. Pogba's representatives explained that the testosterone came from a dietary supplement prescribed by a doctor he had visited in the United States.

Paul Pogba's statement on his social media. INSTAGRAM
Paul Pogba's statement on his social media. INSTAGRAM

Pogba will appeal against the decision, which threatens to end his career prematurely. "I am saddened, shocked and heartbroken that everything I have built in my professional playing career has been taken away from me," he wrote on Instagram. 

He insisted the verdict was "wrong" and denied any allegations of using performance-enhancing substances. "When I am free from legal restrictions, the full story will become clear, but I have never knowingly or intentionally taken any supplements that violate anti-doping rules. As a result of today's decision, I will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport," sentenced Pogba.

The positive doping test came after a difficult season at Juve, which was marked by fitness problems and limited game time, with just 10 appearances. He was ruled out of France's World Cup campaign in Qatar due to an injury and made two appearances for Juventus this season before being suspended. 

France national coach Didier Deschamps said he could "not imagine" that Pogba had "the intention, the desire to take drugs." "What Paul has been going through for several months is extremely difficult and I obviously cannot remain indifferent to his pain, given everything he has achieved," he said in a statement. 

Despite having a contract with Juventus worth an estimated €8 million per season until 2026, he has been unable to train since the positive test was confirmed and the 'Vecchia Signora' has stopped paying his wages.