France boss Didier Deschamps and Kingsley Coman have leapt to the defence of Paul Pogba after his failed drugs test at Juventus.
Pogba was provisionally suspended by the Italian anti-doping authority after testing positive for testosterone, a hormone which increases an athletes’ endurance.
If found guilty, the 30-year-old could be banned from football for up to four years following the random drugs test. The midfielder has until later this week to produce a counter-analysis of the result, according to reports in Italy.
Despite this, French international boss Deschamps and compatriot and Bayern Munich star Coman have come to the defence of the Juventus man.
Deschamps, who has worked with Pogba since taking over the Les Bleus managerial role in 2012, finds it hard to believe that Pogba has committed such an offence.
“I can’t imagine that, knowing him, with everything that is in his head. I still remember certain discussions with him on the vaccine and Covid… The substance there is, but afterwards, unless there is a second opinion…,” he said to reporters. “I don’t think he himself knows [why] unfortunately. It’s hard for him. I have always supported him.”
Bayern winger Coman, who has played alongside the Juve midfielder for France for years, protested Pogba’s innocence and weighed in with his support.
“We all support Paul, he’s a very close friend, he’s part of the family,” he told reporters. “We don’t really know more, we’ll have to look. But we know Paul, we knows that if something happened, it was surely unconsciously, without intention. We are with him wholeheartedly.”
Pogba has endured a torrid time at Juventus following his return to the Italian side from United in 2022. The 2018 World Cup winner missed most of last season with knee and hamstring injuries and claimed to have almost quit football after allegedly being extorted by an organised crime gang.