Peru captain Paolo Guerrero was cleared to play at next month’s World Cup after a Swiss court agreed to temporarily lift his doping suspension while it considered his appeal against a 14-month ban.
The Swiss Federal Tribunal said in a statement on Friday (NZ time) that the 34-year-old would suffer “if he saw himself prevented from participating in a competition that will be the culmination of his career as a footballer, given that he did not act intentionally or with significant negligence.”
Guerrero is now free to lead his country in their first World Cup appearance for 36 years. They face France, Australia and Denmark in Group C at the finals which start on June 14.
Guerrero tested positive for cocaine — contained in a tea he drank — following a World Cup qualifier away to Argentina in October.
He was initially given a 12-month ban, starting in November, by football’s world governing body FIFA, which ruled him out of the World Cup. That was reduced to six months on appeal, putting him back in the tournament.
However, less than two weeks after the six-month ban ended in May, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), sport’s highest tribunal, increased the ban to 14 months, again ruling out of the finals.
That decision followed an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which considered six months as too lenient.