Peru captain Paolo Guerrero is set to miss his country’s vital World Cup play-off with New Zealand after failing a drugs test.
The Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) confirmed the news after their experienced forward was selected for a random drugs test following the goalless draw with Argentina last month.
Accoring to Globoesporte the 33-year-old’s sample had traces of Benzoylecglonine, the main component of cocaine.
Guerrero has been hit with an initial 30 day suspension by FIFA and will miss the crucial double-header with the Kiwis in the upcoming international break.
The Flamengo forward, formerly of Bayern Munich, will also miss the Copa Sudamericana semi-final against Colombian side Junior Baranquilla.
Guerrero, who is Peru’s all-time leading scorer with 33 goals, has seven days to respond.
Guerrero could be hit with a lengthy ban if FIFA’s findings are underlined with confirmation of the banned substance in a second sample.
The FPF made a statement confirming the news on Friday.
They said: “The Peruvian Football Federation informs that, after the match played on October 5, 2017 against Argentina, Paolo Guerrero was subjected to an anti-doping control in accordance with the general protocol established in the preliminary stage of the competition Russia 2018.
“Today [Friday], November 3, at 14:09 local time, the President of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee informed us of the provisional 30-day suspension measure of Paolo Guerrero for an adverse analytical result in the aforementioned control.
“The FPF complies and respects this decision of FIFA and trusts that soon the facts are clarified and… this process is definitively resolved.
“Paolo, captain and leader of our squad, plays a very important role for our squad on and off the pitch thanks to the quality of him as a person, which he has always showed.
“We value his immense contribution to our selection, so the FPF and all of Peru has solidarity with him in these difficult moments.”