ZURICH/LIMA: Peru captain Paolo Guerrero has been cleared to play in the World Cup finals in Russia after having his dope-test ban cut in half by the appeal committee of world federation FIFA writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The 33-year-old tested positive for cocaine after a qualifying tie against Argentina on October 6. The ban was dated from November 3, when he was suspended provisionally. He can now return to action in May, ahead of the World Cup starting in June.

Peru beat New Zealand over two legs in a play-off in November to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, their first appearance at the event since 1982.

The former Bayern Munich striker, who plays for Brazilian club Flamengo, has scored 32 goals in 86 appearances for his country.

FIFA statement:

 On 20 December 2017, the FIFA Appeal Committee decided to partially uphold the appeal lodged by the Peruvian international player Paolo Guerrero. The decision rendered by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on 7 December suspending the player for one year was therefore partially set aside and the initial period of ineligibility of one year imposed against the player has been reduced to six months.

The FIFA Appeal Committee after taking into account all the circumstances of the case, in particular the degree of fault of the player, considered a six-month period of ineligibility to be a proportionate sanction.

The player tested positive for the metabolite benzoylecgonine, a substance included in WADA’s 2017 Prohibited List under the class “S6. Stimulants”, following a doping control test conducted after the match of the preliminary competition of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ played in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 5 October 2017.

By testing positive for a prohibited substance, the player has violated article 6 of the FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations and, as such, contravened article 63 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

The suspension period starts on 3 November 2017, the date on which the player was provisionally suspended by the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. In line with article 29 of the FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations, the suspension covers, inter alia, all types of matches, including domestic, international, friendly and official fixtures. The terms of the decision were duly notified today.