Paolo Guerrero’s ban returns as World Cup freeze is uplifted

Peru's captain will serve out what is left of a 14-month suspension

After a Swiss tribunal lifted Paolo Guerrero’s 14-month drug ban to allow him to play in the 2018 World Cup, that suspension has now returned as the temporary stay officially ends. Though the Peru captain was ultimately able to play, and score, in La Blanquirroja’s first World Cup since 1982, he will resume what is left of the FIFA suspension.

The renewed suspension not only affects the 34-year-old forward’s career with the national team, which may now be over, but his career at the club level is also in jeopardy. Guerrero just recently signed with Brazilian club Internacional on a three-year deal after having starred in that league for six years already. He will be suspended from those league games until some time in 2019.

“FIFA took note of the decision of the Swiss Federal Tribunal to lift the provisional suspensive effect that had been granted with respect to the sanction imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” a statement from FIFA read on Thursday.

The suspension was initially triggered when Guerrero tested positive for cocaine after drinking what he said was maté de coca, the typical Peruvian tea, after a friendly with Argentina in October. Length of suspension had changed back and forth between one year and six months before the Court of Arbitration for Sport handed down a strict 14-month sentence.

With both Guerrero and fellow veteran forward Jefferson Farfan nearing the wrong side of 30, Peru and coach Ricardo Gareca will be looking for some young talent at that position as they set their eyes on the 2019 Copa America in Brazil.

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