Peru captain Paolo Guerrero cleared to play after doping ban

by Steven Clarke June 3, 2018, 16:09
Peru captain Paolo Guerrero cleared to play after doping ban

Guerrero tested positive for cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine following Peru's World Cup qualifier against Argentina in Buenos Aires on October 5.

The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland accepted the appeal Guerrero filed on Friday, and the urgent request to suspend the ban, reports Efe.

But the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) increased it on the grounds that the Flamengo forward bore "some fault or negligence" for the positive test and must face a ban of between one and two years under FIFA's anti-doping rules.

Peruvian soccer player Paolo Guerrero arrives in Lima, Peru May 15, 2018.

The tournament will mark Peru's first appearance in football's biggest event since 1982.

Guerrero's case received unlikely backing when the captains of France, Australia and Denmark - Peru's group stage opponents at the World Cup - wrote a letter to football's global governing body FIFA urging it to let him play.

"The CAS will not object to the request for a stay", it said in a statement.

In a exceptional turnaround, Guerrero was granted a keep of execution Wednesday by the Federal Supreme Courtroom of Switzerland.

So far, the CAS panel has only issued its decision, without grounds.

Guerrero's place in the squad was hanging by a thread following a severely harsh doping ban handed down to him by the World Anti-Doping Agency in2017.

But instead of accepting the ruling, Guerrero appealed to CAS in a bid to clear his name.

"It's a great joy, not only for the federation but for the whole of Peru", the FPF said in a statement.

A Swiss tribunal has now ruled that the extension was "unjustified" and is "provisionally deprived of effect", leaving Guerrero free to play in Russian Federation.

The announcement followed Peru's 2-0 victory over Scotland in an worldwide friendly here as the players bid farewell to local fans on Tuesday ahead of their first World Cup appearance since 1982, reports Xinhua news agency.

"This decision does justice, at least partially, and I'm grateful to the Swiss court", said Guerrero.

"Both FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport agreed that Guerrero did not intend to cheat".

Peru take on Saudi Arabia on Sunday in a World Cup warm-up in Altach, Austria.

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