Peru captain Paolo Guerrero cleared for World Cup

Virginia Santiago
June 1, 2018

FIFPro, the world footballer's union, called on FIFA to reduce a ban they considered "unfair and disproportionate" and allow the 34-year-old to play at the FIFA World Cup.

The forward was given an initial 12-month ban after testing positive for cocaine metabolite after a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Argentina in October 2017.

Head coach Ricardo Gareca now has until June 4 to name Guerrero in his squad, pending any further developments.

The case has attracted widespread attention in the build-up to the tournament, with Guerrero claiming he ingested the banned substance after drinking an aromatic tea made from coca leaves.

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"This decision does justice, at least partially, and I'm grateful to the Swiss court", said Guerrero, who has not formally been cleared of doping and could yet serve the remainder of his ban.

"As a result, Paolo Guerrero can take part in the next World Cup", the federal court said, noting the tournament could be "without any doubt the crowning glory of his career". "There are no impossible dreams, as it has been proved that when Peruvians are united, everything is possible". Aside from appealing and pleading his case, Guerrero also received support from players Peru will face this summer from the national teams of Australia, France and Denmark, while also getting support from stars like Luis Suarez.

Guerrero has released a statement, saying, "There are no limits".

"Finally, my thanks to Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino and the captains of Australia, Denmark and France".

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Initially banned for a year, this was later reduced to six months on appeal last December.

Cas had imposed the ban this month, upholding an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

That suspension was then halved by Fifa's appeal committee but the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) appealed to Cas and, less than two weeks after his six-month ban ended in May, they extended it to 14 months.

Cas accepted his argument when it heard Guerrero's appeal on 3 May.

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Earlier on Thursday CAS issued a statement saying it would not object if Guerrero was cleared to play in Russian Federation. Federal judges can intervene if they suspect abuse of legal process.

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