Published: Fri, June 01, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Peru’s Guerrero Cleared To Play In World Cup After Cocaine Ban

Peru’s Guerrero Cleared To Play In World Cup After Cocaine Ban

Peru captain Paolo Guerrero was cleared on Thursday (Friday NZ Time) to play at the World Cup by a Swiss supreme court judge despite a doping ban.

"Both FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport agreed that Guerrero did not intend to cheat".

Peruvian soccer player Paolo Guerrero arrives for an appeal hearing at the The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, May 3, 2018.

Thursday's victory means the former Bayern Munich player is now set to be captain of Peru in Russian Federation at its first World Cup appearance since 1982. But a Swiss court has now given Guerrero permission to play.

However, the CAS judges increased the ban to 14 months, upholding a counter-appeal by WADA.

"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".

The federal tribunal is expected to examine the case in fuller detail following the World Cup.

Guerrero has been on an emotional rollercoaster since the positive doping test following a World Cup qualifier away to Argentina in October.

His Fifa-imposed ban of six months had expired that same day.

That ban ended on May 3, making Guerrero eligible to play at the June 14-July 15 World Cup in Russian Federation.

The ruling prompted an outpouring of support from his native Peru, where the president Martin Vizcarra led calls for clemency.

Guerrero had the right to a supreme court appeal because CAS is under the jurisdiction of Swiss civil law.

Guerrero has said that benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, was found in his system because of a herbal infusion he drank that was contaminated with coca leaf, an ingredient in cocaine which is also widely used as a non-narcotic traditional remedy in South America.

Guerrero is now free to play for Peru in their first World Cup finals since Spain 1982.

France's Hugo Lloris, Australia's Mile Jedinak and Denmark's Simon Kjaer, the captains of the three teams Peru will face in Group C, wrote to football's governing body in support of Guerrero's appeal.

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