Peru captain Paolo Guerrero free to play at World Cup after 12-month ban reduced

Wed, Dec 27 2017

Guerrero will now be free to play from May 30th, 2018. Credit: Ian Anderson

Peru captain Paolo Guerrero will be eligible to lead his team at the World Cup in Russia next summer after his initial 12-month ban was reduced to six months on appeal.


The Flamengo striker had been handed the initial punishment after testing positive for the metabolite benzoylecgonine – which indicates the use of cocaine – in October.


Guerrero was tested following his country's October 5th World Cup qualifier against Argentina in Buenos Aires, which finished scoreless.


The 33-year-old was provisionally suspended for 30 days and missed the subsequent match against Colombia and the two-legged play-off victory over New Zealand.


He was subsequently handed a year's suspension but that has been reduced by half by the FIFA Appeal Committe 'after taking into account all the circumstances of the case.'


Guerrero contended he had ingested the substance not through the use of recreational cocaine but in trace quantities in a traditional Peruvian coca tea used to treat a cold.


The former Bayern Munich, Hamburg and Corinthians player will miss upcoming friendlies with Iran, Croatia and Iceland in Match but will be free to play from May 30th, 2018.


A FIFA statement read: “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.”