Monday, 23 July, 2018

Players' union says Guerrero doping ban defies common sense

Peru Paolo Guerrero 2018 FIFA World Cup Australia France Denmark Peru star Guerrero fights WADA for World Cup place
Melinda Barton | 16 May, 2018, 06:57

But in a unusual turn of events, the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) - of which the President and two board members are Australian and none Peruvian - overruled FIFA's sanction and imposed a 14-month ban.

Guerrero had a ban over taking an illegal substance instituted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, following an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency to extend an initial sixth-month ban from Federation Internationale de Football Association, which had been shortened from its first length through an appeal by the player.

World footballers' union FIFPro has condemned the 14-month drugs ban that will rule Peru's captain and record goalscorer Paolo Guerrero out of the World Cup as "unfair and disproportionate".

Guerrero's absence will be a big blow for Peru, who are preparing for their first World Cup finals since 1982.

Guerrero tested positive for Benzoylecgonine - which is a metabolite of cocaine - at a 2018 World Cup qualifying game against Argentina in October.

Despite acknowledging Guerrero had no intention of taking a banned substance - his lawyer argued the stimulant was consumed by drinking contaminated tea - CAS ruled in line with WADA's wishes.

Peru is in Group C with Australia, Denmark and France.

Guerrero was serving a suspension when Peru beat New Zealand 2-0 over two legs in last November's intercontinental World Cup play-off.

The FIFA AC had considered that Mr Guerrero had been able to establish that the adverse analytical finding had been caused by the ingestion of a tea containing the prohibited substance.

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

CAS said that Guerrero bore "some fault or negligence, even if it was not significant, and that he could have taken some measures to prevent him from committing an anti-doping violation".

Guerrero has 32 goals for his country in 86 appearances.

It is the second ruling from sport's highest court that has weighed heavily on Peru's first World Cup appearance in 36 years.

"To the people who've contributed to this shameful injustice (I say to them), you are stealing my World Cup and perhaps also my career".