Peru’s suspended star striker returns to training with Flamengo

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Rio de Janeiro, March 20 (IANS) Peruvian national team star striker Paolo Guerrero, who was hit with a six-month doping ban by FIFA, will be back in training on Tuesday with Brazilian club Flamengo, the team has announced.

Guerrero still has 45 days remaining on his suspension and cannot play an official game until early May, although football’s world governing body allows players to return to training before their bans end, reports Efe.

The 34-year-old striker initially received a one-year ban last November after testing positive for “cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine”, a banned stimulant.

That would have made him ineligible for the World Cup, which gets under way in mid-June in Russia; but a month later FIFA’s appeal committee reduced the suspension to six months after reviewing “all circumstances” of his case.

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Guerrero has filed an appeal with the Lausanne, Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport in a bid to completely annul the suspension.

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.

Flamengo suspended Guerrero’s contract at the end of 2017 due to FIFA’s sanction, but it will automatically be reactivated when he returns to training with the Rio de Janeiro-based club.

Guerrero has scored more overall goals and earned more caps than any other current Peruvian national team player.

Peru has been drawn in Group C at the 2018 World Cup along with France, Australia and Denmark.

–IANS

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