Peru skipper Paolo Guerrero will miss next year’s FIFA World Cup after copping a one-year FIFA ban for failing a drugs test.
Guerrero, Peru’s all-time leading goalscorer, tested positive for cocaine after a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Argentina in October.
The 33-year-old was provisionally banned and missed his nation’s playoff win over New Zealand, with FIFA announcing on Friday he would serve a one year suspension.
“The player tested positive for cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine, a substance included in Wada’s 2017 Prohibited List under the class ‘S6. Stimulants’, following a doping control test conducted after the match,” Fifa said in a statement.
“By testing positive for a prohibited substance, the player has violated article 6 of the Fifa Anti-Doping Regulations and, as such, contravened article 63 of the Fifa Disciplinary Code.”
The news is a boost to the Caltex Socceroos who face Peru in their final Group C match at the 2018 tournament in Russia.
Guerrero is arguably Peru’s most important player, scoring five goals in qualifying as the South American’s qualified for their first FIFA World Cup in 36 years.
The Flamengo striker, who has also played for German giants Bayern Munich, made his international debut in 2004 and has 83 caps, scoring 32 goals.