Peru’s captain Paolo Guerrero has been cleared by a Swiss supreme court to play at the 2018 World Cup this summer despite being banned for 14-month for failing a drugs test.
His ban will now begin after the tournament is over with his case moved to a later date.
Guerrero, 34, is Peru’s all-time leading goalscorer with 32 goals in 86 appearances for his country and his goals propelled them to their first World Cup qualification since 1982.
However he tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine following a World Cup qualifier against Argentina last October. Guerrero argued that the substance didn’t enhance his performance and said that he accidentally consumed contaminated tea.
Guerrero was subsequently banned and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) had upheld the ban earlier this month in conjunction with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Since then the captains of Peru’s three opponents in Group C of the World Cup this summer — France’s Hugo Lloris, Australia’s Mile Jedinak and Denmark’s Simon Kjaer — have all written to FIFA to ask for Guerrero’s ban to be delayed.
It appears their words helped Guerrero realize his dream as he will lead Peru in Russia this summer.