Peru captain Paolo Guerrero cleared to play at Russia World Cup 2018

Peru captain Paolo Guerrero has been cleared to play at the World Cup by a Swiss supreme court judge.

Guerrero tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine at a World Cup qualifier against Argentina in October and was initially banned for 12 months by FIFA’s disciplinary committee.

This ban was cut to six months on appeal after Guerrero argued the stimulant had not been performance enhancing, and was accidentally consumed in contaminated tea.

However, an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Committee (WADA) to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) increased the ban to 14 months.

But Switzerland’s supreme court has now granted an interim order to freeze Guerrero’s ban – meaning he is free to play in Russia next month.

The judge took into account that, at 34, Guerrero should not miss the first opportunity of his career to play at the World Cup.

His case was also helped by the fact that neither FIFA nor the World Anti-Doping Agency opposed the appeal.

“Neither one nor the other was categorically opposed (to him playing),” the court said.

The interim ruling puts the ban imposed by CAS on hold until full consideration of the case at a later date.

The former Bayern Munich player is now set to captain of Peru in its first World Cup appearance since 1982. Peru are in a group with France, Denmark and Australia.