ZURICH/LIMA: Paolo Guerrero, Peru’s veteran captain and playmaker, is back on track to play at the World Cup finals in Russia writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Guerrero has appealed to the Swiss Federal Court against an increased ban handed down by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after a failed dope test in the World Cup qualifiers.
His lawyers have appealed for the 14-month to be lifted pending a hearing of the appeal and CAS has stated that it has no objection.
Early this month Guerrero was named in Peru’s squad for the tournament in Russia, the day after a six-month suspension for a doping offence has expired.
However, within a further 24 hours, the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced it had upheld an appeal from the World Anti-Doping Agency against the sentence and extended it to 14 months.
This is the ban which has been put on ice.
Last October Guerrero, who is now contracted to play his club football with Brazil’s Flamengo, tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, in a routine test after a World Cup qualifying tie against Argentina.
One month later world football federation FIFA banned Guerrero for a year but its appeal committee, considering his claim that he had accidentally consumed the substance in coca tea, commuted the suspension to six months.
This meant Guerrero could again look forward to playing in the World Cup finals until WADA launched its own appeal against the FIFA ruling with sport’s supreme court.
FIFA initially suspended Guerrero for one year through Nov. 3. It reduced the ban in a fast-tracked appeal last December which clearing him to play at the World Cup.
Guerrero made his senior Peru debut in 2004 and is Peru’s all-time leading marksman with 32 goals in 83 appearances. He was leading scorer at the Copa America in both 2011 and 2015 when Peru finished third.
At the weekend Guerrero marked the end of his FIFA ban by heading a goal in Flamengo’s 3-2 defeat by Chapecoense in the Brazilian championship. He must now wait until November before has a chance of playing – and scoring – again.
The Peruvian federation has the option of appealing to the Swiss Federal Court but the complexity of the process means it could not be undertaken in time for the World Cup finals.