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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Peru captain Guerrero to miss World Cup

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Peru captain Paolo Guerrero will miss the World Cup in Russia after his doping ban, which had just expired, was increased from six to 14 months, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Monday.

Guerrero tested positive for cocaine following a World Cup qualifier in Argentina in October after drinking a tea containing the substance, CAS said. It accepted that Peru's all-time leading scorer did not intend to enhance performance but said he was at fault, even if not significantly.

The 34-year-old was initially banned for 12 months by FIFA, which was then reduced to six months on appeal. The suspension finished 10 days ago. However, CAS partially accepted an appeal from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which had requested the sanction be increased to between one and two years.

Guerrero, who has denied wrongdoing throughout, had also appealed to CAS to request the ban be annulled altogether. "This is very hard for me," the player said in a recorded message broadcast on Peru's Canal N.

"Today I feel like my dreams, first of playing football and second of playing in a World Cup after 36 years, I feel like they're gone.

This is a very dark hour, dark due to what I'm going through, but I want to reiterate to my country, to my people, that I have never taken any kind of drugs. To the people who've contributed to this shameful injustice (I say to them), you are stealing my World Cup and perhaps also my career. I hope you can sleep at night."

-Reuters, Zurich

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