ZURICH: Paolo Guerrero’s personal attempt to persuade FIFA to disobey the Court of Arbitration for Sport over his doping ban has ended in failure writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Peru’s captain had flown to Zurich to try to persuade world federation president Gianni Infantino to snub a ruling from sport’s supreme court and thus allow him to captain Peru at next month’s World Cup finals.
However, while Infantino expressed sympathy for Guerrero’s situation, he is also understood have explained that the matter was out of his hands.
Indeed, privately Infantino may have wondered what advise Guerrero and Peru federation president Edwin Oviedo had been given to lead them up a Zurich cul-de-sac.
Guerrero is barred from the World Cup, where Peru will be making their first appearance for 36 years, after testing positive for cocaine — contained in coca tea — after a qualifying tie in Argentina last October.
He was initially barred for 12 months by FIFA’s disciplinary committee but this was cut to six months on appeal which would have allowed him to play in Russia.
The World Anti-Doping Agency appealed to CAS argued that six months was too lenient and duly obtained a suspension increase to 14 months.
A FIFA statement said: “Gianni Infantino expressed his deep understanding of Guerrero’s disappointment in not being able to join the Peruvian squad at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
“However, the FIFA President also stressed the fact that the sanction had been imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, after an appeal lodged against a decision of an independent FIFA judicial body.”
Players’ union FIFPro had claimed that the ban was excessive since Guerrero had ingested the substance. Appeals to let him play had been submitted to FIFA by the captains of the three teams drawn to play Peru in Russia – France’s Hugo Lloris, Australia’s Mile Jedinak and Denmark’s Simon Kjaer.