Justice for Paolo Guerrero
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On May 14th, 2018 the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) also known for its French initials TAS (Tribunal Arbitral du Sport) decided to extend the suspension sentence given to Peruvian soccer player Paolo Guerrero and we believe this is an injustice as Paolo has maintained a clean record throughout his career.
On November 5th, 2017 Paolo tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine and was suspended by FIFA for 12 months; following an appeal by Guerrero, the suspension was reduced to 6 months, making him eligible to play in the FIFA World Cup which is set to start on June 14th. This would have been his first (and possible only) appearance at a World Cup since the Peruvian national team has not appeared in one since 1982 and Paolo is 34 years old.
It has been proven time and time again that Paolo Guerrero did not willingly consume cocaine or any other drugs; what's more, the CAS Panel agrees that Guerrero "...did not attempt to enhance his performance by ingesting the prohibited substance." Though they did find that there was negligence on his part. However it has been determined that the adverse finding was caused by a consumption of a TEA containing the substance. If this sounds ridiculous, it's because it is.
The CAS has now decided to extend Paolo's ban to 14 months, making him ineligible to play in the World Cup and potentially ruining his career. Please see below for the official TAS-CAS media release.
I am calling on the TAS-CAS to reverse today's decision and put the 6 month ban back in place in order to allow Paolo Guerrero to fulfill his dream of playing in a World Cup for the first and possible only time in his career. Based on the TAS-CAS media release, a 6 month ban is more than enough for the minimal degree of negligence stated.
The Peruvian population is deeply affected by this decision as it has essentially shattered the dreams of millions to see our beloved "Capitan" playing in the world's biggest sporting event.
FOOTBALL – ANTI-DOPING
COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS) PANEL IMPOSES
A 14-MONTH PERIOD OF INELIGIBILITY ON PAOLO GUERRERO
Lausanne, 14 May 2018 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has partially upheld the appeal filed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against the decision issued by the FIFA Appeal Committee (the FIFA AC) on 20 December 2017 (the FIFA AC Decision) in which a 6-month period of ineligibility was imposed on the
Peruvian football player Paolo Guerrero further to an anti-doping rule violation (presence of Benzoylecgoninemetabolites). The CAS decided to increase Mr Guerrero’s suspension from 6 to 14 months, starting today, withthe period of provisional suspension of 6 months already served by Mr Guerrero being credited against the totalperiod of ineligibility to be served.
The FIFA AC had considered that Mr Guerrero had been able to establish that the adverse analytical finding had been caused by the ingestion of a tea containing the prohibited substance. The FIFA AC decided that the Player bore some degree of fault or negligence (although not significant) in committing the anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) and therefore that a proportionate period of ineligibility had to be imposed. Taking into account the circumstances of the case, the FIFA AC imposed a 6-month period of ineligibility on the Player, instead of the 1-year minimum suspension provided by the FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations, applicable in case of no significant fault or negligence.
Both the Player and WADA filed appeals at the CAS. Paolo Guerrero sought to have the FIFA AC Decision set aside and replaced by a new decision in which no sanction was imposed on him. WADA, on the other hand, had requested that the FIFA AC decision be set aside and that Paolo Guerrero be sanctioned with a period of ineligibility between 1 and 2 years with an expressed preference for 22 months. Two arbitration procedures were registered by the CAS which were consolidated and referred to the same Panel of arbitrators who held a hearing with the parties at the CAS Headquarters in Lausanne on 3 May 2018.
The CAS Panel confirmed the existence of an ADRV committed by Mr Guerrero but also accepted that he did not attempt to enhance his performance by ingesting the prohibited substance. However, the Panel considered that the Player did bear some fault or negligence, even if it was not significant, and that he could have taken some measures to prevent him from committing the ADRV. Considering that, in case of no significant fault or negligence, the sanction should, in accordance with the applicable FIFA rules, be in the range of 1 to 2 years of suspension, the CAS Panel considered that the appropriate sanction would be 14 months in light of the Mr Guerrero’s degree of fault.
The CAS Panel has only issued its decision. The reasoned award with the grounds for the Panel’s decision will be notified to the parties in due course.
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