Peru captain Paolo Guerrero cleared to play despite drug ban

Peru's talismanic striker Paolo Guerrero is going to the World Cup after all

Before the match that sealed Peru's first World Cup appearance for a generation in November 2017, the players ran out in Lima's national stadium wearing T-shirts baring the slogan, "Fuerza Paolo".

He appealed the decision, having previously received the support of Hugo Lloris, Simon Kjaer and Mile Jedinak, the captains of Peru's World Cup rivals.

"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.

"While Guerrero has won a temporary reprieve from the Swiss federal court, it is unfortunate that he has to endure such a protracted legal wrangle that is still not over".

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

The former Bayern Munich man had previously appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after being banned by Federation Internationale de Football Association, before later appealing to a federal court, which granted his appeal.

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It also recognized that Guerrero, who tested positive for a cocaine byproduct - contained in a tea he drank - in October, "did not act intentionally or with significant negligence".

Peru have been drawn in Group C alongside France, Denmark and Australia and will be delighted with the news that they can welcome the 34-year-old Flamengo forward back into the fold.

CAS had imposed the ban this month, upholding an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

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. The sports court decided a ban through January 2019 was an "appropriate sanction.in light of Mr Guerrero's degree of fault".

But instead of accepting the ruling, Guerrero appealed to CAS in a bid to clear his name.

Guerrero had been given a boost earlier today when the CAS said they would not object if the Tribunal ruled he is eligible to play.

Guerrero had the right to a supreme court appeal because CAS is under the jurisdiction of Swiss civil law.

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