SELDOM has the law been as big an ass as in the case of Peru centre forward Paolo Guerrero.
Late last year he tested positive for a small quantity of a substance found in cocaine.
Reuters Paolo Guerrero will miss the World Cup after his drugs ban was upheld
AFP Paolo Guerrero is a national hero in Peru and will be sorely missed
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) accept that this most likely came from drinking tea brewed in a receptacle which had previously been used to prepare coca leaf tea, a common drink in Peru.
Guerrero, then, had not taken drugs. He had not attempted to enhance his performance.
And any lack of care he had shown was not significant. CAS accept all of this.
Even so, they have banned him for 14 months — ruling him out of the World Cup and perhaps even ending his career. And there is no right of appeal.
AFP A 14-month ban at the age of 34 could spell the end of Paolo Guerrero’s career
Reuters Paolo Guerrero will never be able to play for Peru at a World Cup finals
It is hard to believe that any reasonable person would honestly think that the punishment fits the crime – or the lack of one.
Russia 2018 was to have been the crowning glory of Guerrero’s long career. Peru have not made it to a World Cup since 1982, some eighteen months before Guerrero was born.
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At the age of 34, he will not have another chance. It is even conceivable that he will never play again.
He has some memories to look back on. Guerrero is Peru’s all-time top scorer.