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Apr 17, 2009

Pizarro cleared over salacious allegations

Peru striker Claudio Pizarro has successfully appealed against a $10,000 fine for allegedly smuggling prostitutes and alcohol into a hotel in Lima while on national team duty.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport found there was no ''concrete evidence'' against the Chelsea striker who is currently on loan with German side Werder Bremen.

Pizarro was fined $80,000 and banned for 18 months by the Peruvian Football Fderation (PFF) after the allegations were made following a 1-1 draw in the World Cup qualifier against Brazil in November 2007.

The ban was reduced to three months and the fine also cut on appeal, but Pizarro took his case to CAS who found in favour of the 30-year-old.

A statement from CAS, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, said: ''The panel noted that the facts put forward by the PFF in relation to Pizarro were not supported by concrete evidence.

''Furthermore, the panel also noted that the incidents reported by the PFF were not dealt with either in the PFF regulations, or in the FIFA regulations.''

Pizarro is enjoying a fine season having bagged 16 goals in 20 Bundesliga appearances and scoring on Thursday night as Werder reached the UEFA Cup semi-final after a 3-3 draw in the second-leg sealed a 6-4 aggregate win over Udinese.

However, he has not been called up by his national team since the alleged incident and was left out of the squad in March, as coach Jose del Solar named his side for World Cup qualifing matches against Chile and Brazil.

Peru, bottom of the 10-team South American World Cup qualifying group have struggled to replace the striker - as they have also overlooked Schalke's Jefferson Farfan for his part in the saga.

The side have lost seven of their 12 qualifiers thus far, with their only win coming against Costa Rica at home in March 2008.

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