Paolo Guerrero’s seemingly neverending doping scandal saga may have finally ended. And the latest decision did not go in the favor of the Peru captain.
The Swiss Federal Tribunal announced Monday that Guerrero’s resumed 14-month ban that was momentarily delayed for the World Cup will continue as planned until April of 2019, effectively denying his last chance at appeal.
The dramatic series of events all began when Guerrero tested positive for trace amounts of cocaine after a World Cup qualifying game in October of 2017, which he maintained was due to a maté de coca tea. After a whirlwind of bans, extended bans, appeal tries, and finally a successful appeal, Guerrero was able to play in Peru’s first World Cup since 1982 thanks to a last-minute decision in his favor from the Swiss Tribunal.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport acknowledged that its members believe that Guerrero’s positive drug test indeed came from ingesting the tea and was not intentional.
However, the initial appeal only applied for a World Cup freeze, as Guerrero’s long suspension has now returned and will have him sidelined until next year from both club and country. This summer, the 34-year-old striker signed on to play with Brazil’s Internacional for a three-year deal.
Though it will keep Guerrero sidelined for some time, he could be back for Peru in next summer’s Copa América if head man Ricardo Gareca decides to retain the captain’s services. Considering Guerrero’s history at the South American tournament, his addition may be welcomed as he remains the top goal scorer in the tournament among active players, having scored 10 times in three tournaments dating back to 2011.