Peru ace Guerrero cleared to play Russian Federation 2018

Peru players wore t-shirts proclaiming their support for Guerrero ahead of a friendly match against Scotland on May 29 in Lima

Peru players wore t-shirts proclaiming their support for Guerrero ahead of a friendly match against Scotland on May 29 in Lima

The captain of Peru has been cleared by a Swiss supreme court judge to play at the World Cup, despite a doping ban.

Guerrero was banned after testing positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, following Peru's World Cup qualifier with Argentina in October past year, though he claimed this was unintentional and was the result of taking a herbal remedy.

"Mr Guerrero submitted an urgent request for the suspension of the execution of that sanction in order to participate in the next FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation".

"As the believer I am, I want to first thank God, who I've always believed in, and my family", Guerrero said in a statement.

Guerrero, 34, led the South American nation to their first FIFA World Cup appearance since 1982, with the national team unbeaten for over a year.

Players union FIFPro backed Guerrero after claiming the ban was overly harsh.

The interim ruling puts the ban imposed by CAS on hold until full consideration of the case at a later date in federal court. That included a letter signed by captains of Peru's three World Cup opponents - France, Denmark and Australia - urging he be allowed to play.

The verdict came four days ahead of FIFA's Monday deadline for Peru to finalise its 23-man World Cup squad.

It was later revealed that Guerrero tested positive for cocaine and metabolite benzoylecgonine after drinking contaminated tea containing the substance.

That suspension was then halved by Fifa's appeal committee but the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) appealed to Cas and, less than two weeks after his six-month ban ended in May, they extended it to 14 months.

The federal judge agreed with the CAS panel, which also accepted the player's arguments of not being significantly at fault for the positive test.

Guerrero said in a statement issued by his lawyer that "justice has been done, at least partially", and said he would continue the fight to clear his name.

Guerrero made a heartfelt appeal to Federation Internationale de Football Association and its chief Gianni Infantino, which was powerless against the usually unchallenged arbitration of the CAS.

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