Paolo Guerrero scored twice in a 3-0 friendly win over Saudi Arabia to cap an emotional week for the Peru captain who was cleared to play at the World Cup after his long legal battle against a 14-month drugs suspension.
The 34-year-old striker won a last-ditch legal appeal on Thursday to appear at the tournament in Russia despite being banned after testing positive for traces of cocaine following a World Cup qualifier against Argentina last October.
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The Swiss federal tribunal, Guerrero’s last legal recourse, overturned a ruling by the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that saw him suspended for 14 months.
As well as allowing Guerrero to participate in the June 14-July 15 showpiece, it has also given the player hope of seeing his ban reduced or annulled as it ruled the CAS decision “unjustified”.
Guerrero has played just a handful of matches for his Brazilian club Flamengo since he was initially banned on November 3, a ruling that forced him out of Peru’s two-legged World Cup play-off with New Zealand.
But the former Bayern Munich star displayed no obvious signs of rust against Saudi Arabia in St Gallen, Switzerland, as his two goals sealed a convincing win after Andre Carrillo had fired the South Americans ahead on 21 minutes.