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Paul Pogba and 5 other footballers who received long term bans

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has been given a four-year ban after the World Cup winner tested positive for doping, reports Sky in Italy.

Players who faced lengthy bans

Italy's National Anti-Doping Tribunal (TNA) accepted the request of the Anti-Doping Prosecutor's Office to hand out the four-year ban - which is the standard length of ban under the World Anti-Doping Code.

The 30-year-old Juventus player was suspended as a precaution in September after being found positive for testosterone metabolites last August, following Juventus' game at Udinese on August 20. The France international did not play in the Serie A match but was on the Juventus bench.

Here are five other notable players who faced significant suspensions during their careers:

1. Luis Suárez

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The talented Uruguayan striker has faced multiple bans throughout his career, but none more notorious than during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Suárez received a nine-match international ban and a four-month ban from all football-related activities for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini.

This incident marked the third time Suárez had bitten an opponent on the field, leading FIFA to impose one of the longest bans in World Cup history.

2. Joey Barton

Joey Barton, the former Manchester City and Newcastle United midfielder, is no stranger to controversy. However, his most significant ban came in 2017 when he was suspended from football for 18 months by the English Football Association for placing 1,260 bets on football matches over a 10-year period.

The ban was a stark reminder of the strict regulations against betting in football.

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3. Eric Cantona

The French Manchester United forward received an eight-month ban from football in 1995 after an infamous incident where he launched a kung-fu style kick at a Crystal Palace fan who had heckled him. Cantona's actions led to one of the most memorable and talked-about moments in Premier League history, resulting in a lengthy suspension and a community service order.

4. Paolo Guerrero

The Peruvian striker was initially banned for one year by FIFA in 2017 after testing positive for a metabolite of cocaine, a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Although Guerrero claimed the substance was ingested unintentionally through contaminated tea, his ban was later reduced to six months, allowing him to participate in the 2018 World Cup. However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport later extended the ban to 14 months, sidelining him once again.

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5. Rio Ferdinand

In 2003, Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand was banned for eight months for missing a drugs test.

Although Ferdinand argued he had simply forgotten about the test due to moving houses, the FA imposed a lengthy ban, emphasizing the importance of compliance with anti-doping regulations in the sport.

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