Following a five-star performance against Saudi Arabia on Sunday, Peru captain Paolo Guerrero was named in the country’s 23-man World Cup squad after his doping ban was temporarily lifted.
A Swiss tribunal agreed on Thursday to lift a 14-month suspension,imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas), while it considered the 34-year-old Flamengo striker’s appeal.
Midfielder Sergio Pena, 22, was the player cut to make way for Guerrero.
The Granada player said: “This is the most difficult moment of my career.”
Watford forward Andre Carrillo is the only Premier League player in the squad.
Peru face Denmark, France and Australia in their first World Cup since 1982.
The captains of their Group C rivals all wrote to world governing body Fifa asking them to lift Guerrero’s ban.
Guerrero tested positive for cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine in October.
The sample was taken after Peru’s World Cup qualifier against Argentina and Guerrero – who insisted the positive test was the result of drinking contaminated tea – was initially banned for 12 months by Fifa.
That suspension was then halved by Fifa’s appeal committee but the World Anti-Doping Agency appealed to Cas and, less than two weeks after his six-month ban ended in May, it was extended it to 14 months.
A Swiss tribunal has now ruled that the extension was “unjustified” and is “provisionally deprived of effect”, leaving Guerrero free to play in Russia.
Peru’s 23-man squad in full
Goalkeepers: Pedro Gallese (Veracruz), Carlos Caceda (Deportivo Municipal), Jose Carvallo (UTC).
Defenders: Aldo Corzo (Universitario), Luis Advincula (Lobos Buap), Christian Ramos (Veracruz), Miguel Araujo (Alianza Lima), Alberto Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Anderson Santamaria (Puebla), Miguel Trauco (Flamengo), Nilson Loyola (Melgar).
Midfielders: Renato Tapia (Feyenoord), Pedro Aquino (Lobos Buap), Yoshimar Yotun (Orlando City), Paolo Hurtado (Vitoria Guimaraes), Christian Cueva (Sao Paulo), Edison Flores (Aalborg), Andy Polo (Portland Timbers), Wilder Cartagena (Veracruz).
Forwards: Andre Carrillo (Watford), Raul Ruidiaz (Morelia), Jefferson Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow), Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo).