LIMA (AFP) - Peru's hopes of reaching the World Cup suffered a setback Friday (Nov 3) when striker Paolo Guerrero was banned for 30 days for returning an "abnormal result" from a drugs test, ruling him out of his country's play-off against New Zealand.
The Peruvian football federation (FPF) said that the suspension had been ordered by world governing body FIFA.
The 33-year-old Guerrero will now miss Peru's two-legged inter-continental play-off with New Zealand on November 11 and 15 with the winners booking a place in the 2018 finals in Russia.
"The president of FIFA's disciplinary commission has informed us of a suspension of 30 days for our international Paolo Guerrero," the FPF said in a statement.
Media reports in Peru and Brazil, where Guerrero plays for Flamengo, said that the test took place after a World Cup 0-0 qualifying draw against Argentina on October 5.
"What exists now is an abnormal test for a stimulant substance and in this case it is not considered a positive result," Fernando Solera, the head of the anti-doping committee at the Brazilian football federation, told SportTV before the suspension.
"For the moment, Guerrero is not considered as doped."
"We cannot talk about the substance in question - the player has the right to defend himself and demonstrate what this substance is," Solera added to ESPN Brazil.