Peru captain Guerrero to miss World Cup over CAS doping ban

Lausanne (AFP) –


Peru captain Paolo Guerrero will miss the World Cup after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) increase a previous sanction by imposing a 14-month doping ban on him on Monday.

Striker Guerrero had been included in Peru's preliminary 25-man World Cup squad announced on Sunday after an initial six-month ban imposed by world football governing body FIFA expired earlier this month.

But less than a week after he attended a CAS hearing in a bid to completely annul a ban for testing positive for traces of cocaine, CAS increased his sentence for falling foul of "an anti-doping rule violation (presence of Benzoylecgonine metabolites)".

"The CAS decided to increase Mr Guerrero?s suspension from 6 to 14 months, starting today (Monday), with the period of provisional suspension of 6 months already served by Mr Guerrero being credited against the total period of ineligibility to be served," said a CAS statement.

The statement added: "The CAS Panel confirmed the existence of an ADRV (anti-doping rule violation) committed by Mr Guerrero but also accepted that he did not attempt to enhance his performance by ingesting the prohibited substance.

"However, the Panel considered that the player did bear some fault or negligence, even if it was not significant, and that he could have taken some measures to prevent him from committing the ADRV.

"Considering that, in case of no significant fault or negligence, the sanction should, in accordance with the applicable FIFA rules, be in the range of 1 to 2 years of suspension, the CAS Panel considered that the appropriate sanction would be 14 months in light of the Mr Guerrero?s degree of fault."

It means Guerrero will not be eligible to play until January 2019.

Guerrero, who plays as a striker for Brazilian side Flamengo, was initially banned for one year after traces of the banned drug were found in a sample following a World Cup qualifier against Argentina on October 5 last year.

FIFA reduced the ban to six months on appeal last December. It ended on May 3, making Guerrero eligible to play at the June 14-July 15 World Cup in Russia.

The emblematic Peru captain, however, wanted the ban annulled completely.

He arrived at a CAS hearing last week flanked by lawyers to be met by around 30 flag-waving well-wishers and supporters shouting "You can do it, Paolo!!"

But WADA effectively retaliated, appealing to CAS to uphold their original sanction.

CAS noted on Monday: "Both the Player and WADA filed appeals at the CAS. Paolo Guerrero sought to have the FIFA Decision set aside and replaced by a new decision in which no sanction was imposed on him.

"WADA, on the other hand, had requested that the FIFA decision be set aside and that Paolo Guerrero be sanctioned with a period of ineligibility between 1 and 2 years with an expressed preference for 22 months.

"Two arbitration procedures were registered by the CAS which were consolidated and referred to the same Panel of arbitrators who held a hearing with the parties at the CAS Headquarters in Lausanne on 3 May 2018."

Metabolites of cocaine are among the many substances on WADA's banned list.