World Cup: Peru’s Paolo Guerrero Cleared to Play after Doping Ban Frozen

Peru received a boost ahead of the World Cup after a Swiss Supreme Court judge cleared their captain Paolo Guerrero to play despite a doping ban.

Guerrero tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine at a World Cup qualifying game against Argentina in October.

The former Bayern Munich striker was handed a 14-month ban despite arguing that the stimulant had not been performance enhancing and was accidentally consumed in contaminated tea.

In a ruling Thursday, Switzerland’s Supreme Court said it has granted an interim order to freeze Guerrero’s 14-month ban for a positive test.

“Paolo Guerrero can take part in the next World Cup,” the apex court said.

Peru, who are making their first World Cup appearance since 1982, have been drawn in a group with France, Denmark and Australia.

The interim ruling puts the ban imposed by the court of arbitration for sport on hold until full consideration of the case at a later date.

Meanwhile, Cas had said earlier on Thursday that it would not intervene in Guerrero’s legal campaign to play at the World Cup.

Guerrero’s Fifa-imposed ban of six months had expired in May, but Cas judges increased the ban to 14 months, upholding a counter-appeal by Wada, claiming a ban to January 2019 was an “appropriate sanction … in light of Mr Guerrero’s degree of fault.”

The 34-year-old was instrumental in helping Peru reach their first World Cup finals since 1982, scoring five goals in the CONMEBOL qualifiers.

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