Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Peru captain to miss World Cup after doping ban extended

Peru captain to miss World Cup after doping ban extended

Peru will be at this summer's 2018 World Cup for the first time since 1982 after its admirable showing on CONMEBOL's qualifying, but if hopes to do any damage at the tournament, it's going to have to without arguably its best and most high-profile player.

Peru captain Paolo Guerrero was banned from playing at the World Cup because of a positive doping test he said was caused by contaminated tea.

Guerrero arrived from Brazil on Tuesday to a Lima airport crowded with supporters after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld an appeal to extend his ban to January.

Guerrero tested positive for cocaine following a World Cup qualifier in Argentina in October after drinking a tea containing the substance, CAS said.

Accepting Guerrero's argument that the substance was accidentally consumed in contaminated tea, Federation Internationale de Football Association reduced the ban to six months, a period which would have enabled Guerrero to play in Russia, and he was duly named in Peru's provisional squad on Sunday. On Sunday he was named in his country's provisional squad preparing to play France, Denmark and Australia. It reduced the ban in a fast-tracked appeal last December which clearing him to play at the World Cup.

Guerrero, who has denied wrongdoing throughout, had also appealed to CAS to request the ban be annulled altogether.

"What can't be understood is how they can give me a sanction of 14 months, take away my dream which was play a World Cup, without any justification or argument that made sense to me or even you guys".

Two weeks ago, the former Bayern Munich player returned to play for his Brazilian club side Flamengo. The first one was being awarded a default win over their opponents, Bolivia, who were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player. Without the three extra points, Peru would have fallen below Chile and Paraguay in the standings and out of contention.

"FIFPro considers the ban unfair and disproportionate, and the latest example of a World Anti Doping code that too often leads to inappropriate sanctions, especially when it has been established that there was no intent to cheat", it said.

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