LIMA, Nov 4 — Peru’s hopes of reaching the World Cup suffered a setback yesterday when striker Paolo Guerrero was banned for 30 days for returning an “abnormal result” from a drugs test, ruling him out of his country’s playoff against New Zealand.
The Peruvian football federation (FPF) said that the suspension had been ordered by world governing body Fifa.
The 33-year-old Guerrero will now miss Peru’s two-legged inter-continental playoff with New Zealand on November 11 and 15 with the winners booking a place in the 2018 finals in Russia.
“The president of Fifa’s disciplinary commission has informed us of a suspension of 30 days for our international Paolo Guerrero,” the FPF said in a statement.
Media reports in Peru and Brazil, where Guerrero plays for Flamengo, said that the test took place after a World Cup 0-0 qualifying draw against Argentina on October 5.
“What exists now is an abnormal test for a stimulant substance and in this case it is not considered a positive result,” Fernando Solera, the head of the anti-doping committee at the Brazilian football federation, told SportTV before the suspension.
“For the moment, Guerrero is not considered as doped.”
“We cannot talk about the substance in question — the player has the right to defend himself and demonstrate what this substance is,” Solera added to ESPN Brazil.