Banned Peru captain Guerrero to train in Argentina ahead of World Cup

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Lima, Feb 3 (IANS) Peru football team captain Paolo Guerrero will train alone in Argentina in a bid to maintain fitness as he sees out a doping ban ahead of this year’s FIFA World Cup.

Guerrero said his Brazilian club Flamengo had prepared a training programme for the 34-year-old at a private sports complex in the northern outskirts of Buenos Aires, reports Xinhua news agency.

“I have been given a fitness plan which I’ll carry out in Argentina without any distraction,” he said. “My aim is to train well.”

Guerrero was given a 12-month ban in December after testing positive for cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine following Peru’s World Cup qualifier against Argentina in Buenos Aires on October 5.

The penalty, backdated to November, was halved by FIFA’s appeal committee less than two weeks later.

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He is due to return on May 3, just six weeks before Peru’s first World Cup appearance since 1982.

But Guerrero’s lawyers are taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in an effort to have the suspension annulled.

The former Bayern Munich player has denied using cocaine or drinking coca tea, claiming he was a victim of food or drink contamination.

The World Cup will be played in 11 Russian cities from June 14 to July 15.

–IANS

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