ZURICH (Reuters) – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will not contest the appeal and urgent request for a stay filed with a Swiss court by banned Peruvian forward Paolo Guerrero as he fights to play in the World Cup, the tribunal said on Thursday.
“The CAS will not object to the request for a stay,” it said in a statement.
Switzerland highest court still has to rule on Peru captain and top scorer Guerrero’s request to overturn a drugs-related ban that is set to keep him out of his country’s first World Cup appearance in 36 years.
Typically, it overturns CAS rulings only on procedural grounds.
Guerrero had just completed a six-month ban from FIFA after testing positive for a byproduct of cocaine consumption when CAS extended the suspension, ruling him out of the World Cup.
Guerrero denies having used cocaine.
World players’ union FIFPro and the captains of Peru’s World Cup group rivals in Russia next month have appealed to soccer’s world governing body FIFA to lift the ban. Both FIFA and CAS are based in Switzerland.
Guerrero has said that benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, was found in his system because of an herbal infusion he drank that was contaminated with coca leaf, an ingredient in cocaine which is also widely used as a non-narcotic traditional remedy in South America.
Guerrero, 34, unsuccessfully sought amnesty from FIFA President Gianni Infantino during a visit to Switzerland this week.
(Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by Ed Osmond)