Lausanne (Switzerland), May 3 (IANS) Peru national football team captain Paolo Guerrero arrived on Thursday at the Court of Arbitration for Sport to attend a hearing to prove that FIFA’s suspension was unfounded.
Guerrero is also due to be present in another hearing about an appeal concerning the World Anti-Doping Agency’s request to extend his suspension to two years, reports Efe.
“The fears we don’t confront become our limits,” Guerrero posted on his Facebook page before the hearing.
“Throughout my life, perseverance showed me to overcome hard obstacles. I’m keeping my head high, looking forward to going back to where I’m happy,” he added.
The striker, who plays for the Brazilian squad Flamengo, was accompanied by his attorney, Pedro Fida, to the CAS, where fans gathered to support Guerrero.
The 34-year-old initially received a one-year ban from FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, last November after testing positive for “cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine,” a banned stimulant.
That would have made him ineligible for the World Cup, but a month later, FIFA’s appeal committee reduced the suspension to six months after reviewing “all circumstances” of his case.
While the six-month suspension expired last week, Guerrero’s World Cup hopes are threatened by the motion filed by WADA, demanding a two-year long extension.
The banned substance was detected in a test conducted on October 5 in Buenos Aires after Peru played a World Cup qualifying game against Argentina.
Guerrero contends he unwittingly ingested the substance in a cup of tea made from coca leaves.
The hearings are expected to last for several hours.