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Rio Ferdinand tells Paul Pogba what to do about “fine print” of 4-year drugs ban



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Credit: YouTube / Vibe with Five

Rio Ferdinand has handed Paul Pogba words of advice after the former Manchester United midfielder was handed a four-year ban for doping by NADO Italia.

Paul Pogba has been handed a four-year doping ban by a tribunal of Italy’s national anti-doping organisation (NADO Italia) following a positive drug test, with the former Manchester United midfielder having not played football since September.

Since returning to Juventus, Pogba has been marred by injury before the doping ban hit, and he has received advice from former Old Trafford defender Rio Ferdinand.

Read More: Five Man United players issue thoughts on Paul Pogba’s 4-year doping ban

Ferdinand has been in hot water before in relation to doping charges. In January 2003, he was banned for eight months for missing a doping test while at United.

Speaking on his Vibe with Five podcast, Rio Ferdinand has told Paul Pogba to talk publically about the nature of his ban, especially as Pogba believes he is innocent.

“If I had my time again now, and I was Paul Pogba now, and I’m innocent, I’m chatting. I’m well-placed to sit and chat about this because I’ve been through this,” Ferdinand explained.

“And I’ll sit here and say to myself: I’m not going to jump straight away and go, hes guilty, because I’ve been here in this position. And I know Paul.

“I’ve played with him, and I know him well enough after playing with him. And I need to hear from him. I think he’s got to look after himself here. And I didn’t take drugs. The paperwork, the small print, when they’d done the statement, when they’d given me the ban, said I didn’t take drugs.

“But you see the comments sometimes when I say something on some of the channels on my social media. Some people (say) you’re a drugs cheat. You’re a drugs cheat. I’ve never took drugs in my life. I don’t take drugs.”

Pogba released a statement last week after his ban was announced, and crafted a full reply claiming his innocence.

“I have today been informed of the Tribunale Nazionale Antidoping’s decision and believe that the verdict is incorrect.

“I am sad, shocked and heartbroken that everything I have built in my professional playing career has been taken away from me.

“When I am free of legal restrictions the full story will become clear, but I have never knowingly or deliberately taken any supplements that violate anti-doping regulations.

“As a professional athlete I would never do anything to enhance my performance by using banned substances and have never disrespected or cheated fellow athletes and supporters of any of the teams I have played for, or against.

“As a consequence of the decision announced today I will appeal this before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”