Peru: Former Swissotel workers affirm Paolo Guerrero's tea was contaminated at hotel

Photo: EFE

Photo: EFE

12:00 | Lima, May. 6.

Former Swissotel workers have reported irregularities in the Paolo Guerrero case, saying the tea he drank had been contaminated at the Lima-based hotel, contrary to what has been stated in the past.

"(…) I am sure the contamination occurred at the hotel," Luis Escate —former worker at the accommodation establishment— told a local Domingo al Dia TV show.

Escate admitted he and other servers have remained silent until now in order to keep their jobs.

Anthony Obando —the waiter who served the player— revealed additional details of the Peruvian national team pre-game meeting before the Qualifiers match against Argentina held in Buenos Aires in October 2017.

"Paolo Guerrero had fever and requested a tea with lemon. Then, someone grabbed a container where coca tea had been served first, but did not wash it properly. The tea with lemon was poured and served right there," Obando stated.

Additionally, he reported pressure to hide the truth from Swissotel food and beverage manager Ivan Hoyle.

"He (Hoyle) deterred us from making any comment and changed our testimony. He gave us sheets of papers telling us what to say and said: 'If someone at the Federation asks you something, don't say anything.' Everyone needs to know this, because it is unfair," Obando added.

Guerrero case

In December 2017, FIFA Disciplinary Committee suspended the athlete for one year after analyzing the adverse analytical result of the anti-doping test conducted on him following a Qualifiers match against Argentina.

Later, it decided to reduce such suspension to 6 months, which would allow the sportsman to join the Inca team at the 2018 World Cup.

The star's defense demonstrated —with evidence— that he had never used cocaine. Instead, he had —unknowingly— drunk a contaminated tea.

In order to seek full acquittal, the player's defense appealed the decision in January 2018.

Yet, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) requested the sanction to be extended for up to two years.

On May 14, CAS decided to increase Guerrero's suspension from 6 to 14 months, thus leaving him out of the sporting mega-event.

As is known, the Peruvian met with FIFA President Gianni Infantino. At the meeting, the striker unsuccessfully sought amnesty from FIFA's top official.

Then, Guerrero's legal team submitted an appeal to the Swiss Federal Court to suspend the ban imposed on the Peruvian icon.

The forward was cleared to play at the World Cup after the Swiss Federal Court —on May 31— agreed to lift the 14-month ban imposed on him by CAS.

At FIFA's major tournament, the player cemented his place as Peru's top striker with 35 goals defending the national team.

In August 2018, the Swiss justice revoked the precautionary measure that had cleared Guerrero to play soccer again.


Published: 5/6/2019