The players union FIFPro is lobbying FIFA’s President to overlook, overturn, or otherwise vacate the ban that seems to negate any chance of Peru Captain Paolo Guerrero from representing his country in the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia.
Guerrero, you may recall, was caught with traces of cocaine in his bloodstream. He received a one-year ban, but successfully bargained the sentence down to six months. That six months ended in the first days of May, which would have cleared the path for Guerrero to play WC football, but he wrong-headedly chased complete exoneration, with the outcome being a new and improved ban that tacked eight months onto the just-completed one.
The players’ union described the ban as, “unfair and disproportionate,” going on to say that the ban was, “the latest example of a World Anti-Doping Code that too often leads to inappropriate sanctions, especially when it has been established that there was no intent to cheat.”
True, Guerrero was not using the cocaine to get high, he just likes the smell.
The basis of the union’s appeal is that Guerrero did not knowingly snort or otherwise ingest the substance and added the argument that cocaine has no known performance-enhancing value.
The Charley, according to Guerrero, was in some tea that he drank.
It looks just like sugar you see.
We have never been party to that dosage method, but we suspect that tea “sweetened” with coke would have a decidedly bitter taste of the sort that would immediately dissuade us from further tasting.
Then again, since actual sugar is often used to cut cocaine, Guerrero might have honestly not noticed.
Guerrero has the backing of the captains of France, Australia and Denmark, the other sides in Group C.
It might be sentiment more than anything else. Guerrero is 34 and unlikely to be around, Tim Cahill fashion, for the 2022 World Cup and Peru has been absent from WC play since two years before Guerrero was born.