Peruvian captain Paolo Guerrero has been cleared to represent his country at the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation after the Swiss Federal Tribunal agreed to freeze his 14-month doping ban pending the result of his appeal.
Paolo Guerrero tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine at a World Cup qualifying game against Argentina in October.
The case has attracted widespread attention in the build-up to the tournament, with Guerrero claiming he ingested the banned substance after drinking an aromatic tea made from coca leaves.
Guerrero is now free to lead his country in their first World Cup appearance for 36 years.
"Gianni Infantino expressed his deep understanding of Guerrero's disappointment in not being able to join the Peruvian squad at the 2018 FIFA World Cup", said a short FIFA statement last week. "There are no impossible dreams, as it has been proved that when Peruvians are united, everything is possible".
Peru captain Paolo Guerrero's 14-month ban for testing positive for cocaine has been frozen by a Swiss federal court, allowing him to play in the World Cup. Check out a few tweets from jubilant Peruvians below.
France's Hugo Lloris, Australia's Mile Jedinak and Denmark's Simon Kjaer, the captains of the three teams Peru will face in Group C, wrote to football's governing body in support of Guerrero's appeal.
However, an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Committee (WADA) to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) increased the ban to 14 months.
The federal judge agreed with the CAS panel, which also accepted the player's arguments of not being significantly at fault for the positive test. The sports court decided a ban through January 2019 was an 'appropriate sanction.in light of Mr. Guerrero's degree of fault'.
Earlier on Thursday CAS issued a statement saying it would not object if Guerrero was cleared to play in Russian Federation.
Peru were probably the happiest of the 32 finalists on Thursday after veteran Guerrero was cleared to take part in the finals in the latest twist in a long-running saga which has kept the Andean nation on tenterhooks.