Peru's Paolo Guerrero has failed a drug test and will miss Peru's World Cup playoff vs. New Zealand due to a provisional suspension.
Peru's Paolo Guerrero has failed a drug test and will miss Peru's World Cup playoff vs. New Zealand due to a 30-day provisional suspension.
Reports had been swirling that Guerrero, who plays his club soccer with Brazilian side Flamengo, tested positive for a banned substance after Peru's 0-0 draw in its last World Cup qualifier against Argentina.
Peru's official soccer governing body, Federacion Peruana de Futbol, confirmed the rumors with an official release. The Federation supported the decision but stood behind its captain, hoping that the following tests will clear up the situation.
According to ESPN Brazil, sources close to the player said Guerrero was completely surprised by the positive test and that he said he only took flu medicine.
Guerrero, 33, scored six goals in the final round of qualifying and is Peru's all-time leading goal scorer with 32.
Peru, which has not qualified for the World Cup since 1982, qualified for the home-and-home playoff vs. New Zealand by finishing fifth in CONMEBOL's final qualifying stage. Guerrero's free-kick against Colombia secured the point for Peru and the 5th spot in South America's group.
The first leg is in New Zealand on Nov. 10, and the second leg will be played in Peru on Nov. 15.