Guerrero to appeal against doping ban: lawyer
Lima (Peru), Dec 9 (IANS) Peru national football captain Paolo Guerrero will appeal against a 12-month doping ban in a bid to play in next year’s World Cup, his legal team said.
Guerrero, Peru’s all-time leading goalscorer, was earlier suspended by FIFA’s disciplinary committee after being found guilty of cocaine use, reports Xinhua news agency.
“We are extremely surprised and disappointed given that it was recognized he did not use cocaine,” his lawyer Pedro Fida told Peruvian news service America Noticias.
“We will appeal until the last resort in search of justice and in the name of fair play and fair sport,” he added.
Guerrero, who plays his club football for Brazil’s Flamengo, tested positive to the stimulant after Peru’s World Cup qualifier against Argentina in Buenos Aires on October 5.
The 33-year-old was given a provisional ban on November 4, forcing him out of Peru’s World Cup qualifying playoff games against New Zealand.
In presenting Guerrero’s defence, lawyers claimed that the metabolite in the former Bayern Munich player’s sample came from coca tea.
Guerrero has 10 days to file an appeal with FIFA and could also take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Peru qualified for their first World Cup since 1982 by defeating New Zealand 2-0 on aggregate over two legs in their intercontinental playoff last month.
Guerrero has been capped 85 times for Peru’s national team and scored 32 goals.