Peru striker Paolo Guerrero has been provisionally suspended for 30 days after a failed doping test, ruling him out of his country’s FIFA World Cup qualifying playoff against New Zealand.
The 33-year-old, who plays his club football for Brazil’s Flamengo, tested positive to an unspecified stimulant after Peru’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Argentina in Buenos Aires on October 5, officials said, reports Xinhua news agency.
According to the rules of world football governing body FIFA, Guerrero is immediately banned from all competitions for the next month.
The Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) confirmed it received news of the positive result in a statement on Friday.
“The FPF respects FIFA’s decision and trusts that the situation will soon be clarified and the process resolved,” it said.
Guerrero, a former Bayern Munich player, has missed Flamengo’s last four matches in Brazil’s Serie A championship as he struggles to overcome a leg muscle injury.
Earlier, the Brazilian Football Confederation’s anti-doping commission chairman, Fernando Solera, told SporTV: “There is an official result that shows an adverse analysis for a stimulant.”
“I have had access to Flamengo’s medical information, which showed that (the club) did not administer any medication that could be classified as a stimulant.”
The news is a major blow to Peru’s hopes of appearing in their first World Cup finals since 1982.
New Zealand, aiming to qualify for football’s premier event for a fourth time, will host the first leg of the playoff in Wellington on November 11 followed by a clash in Lima four days later.