Peru skipper and record scorer Paolo Guerrero has been ruled out of next summer’s World Cup after testing positive for cocaine.
The 33-year-old will serve a 12-month ban after failing a drugs test following October’s qualifier against Argentina.
A FIFA statement said: “The FIFA Disciplinary Committee decided, after analysing all the specific circumstances of the case, to suspend the Peruvian international player Paolo Guerrero for one year.”
Guerrero tested positive for cocaine, according to FIFA. Very stupid from a player who has played such a vital role in Peru's return to the World Cup https://t.co/0qmdS2o2hN
— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) December 8, 2017
Peru beat New Zealand over two legs to become the final team to qualify for Russia – their first appearance at a World Cup since 1982.
Ex-Bayern Munich frontman Guerrero – now plying his trade for Brazilian outfit Flamengo – was expected to be a key figure for Peru after netting 33 goals in 84 appearances for his country.
When news of Guerrero’s provisional suspension broke last month, the Peruvian Football Federation thanked him for his “immense contribution” and said they stood with him in “solidarity” during “difficult moments”.