The captain of Peru’s national World Cup team, Paolo Guerrero, was just suspended for a year by FIFA for testing positive for a banned substance. This makes him ineligible to play in the 2018 World Cup competition in Russia.
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Peru has not qualified for the World Cup since 1982.
Guerrero, 33, tested positive for the stimulant, benzoylecgonine, which is on FIFA's list of banned substances, back in October, but the final decision to ban Peru’s all-time leading soccer scorer for a year was made official yesterday.
His suspension officially ends Nov. 3, 2018.
Apart from Peru’s national team, Guerrero plays for the Brazilian regional team Clube de Regatas do Flamengo.
The soccer player says he was completely surprised by the positive test and alleges he was only taking flu medication near the time of the FIFA testing. The organization's anti-doping official Fernando Solera said, “For the FIFA disciplinary committee and for us working in the area of doping control, there is no doubt at all that a banned substance was present.”
Guerrero can appeal the suspension to FIFA's appeals committee or the international Court of Arbitration for Sport based in Switzerland.
Peru will play its first World Cup match against Denmark on June 16 of next year.