Paulo Guerrero made his first appearance following the end of his drugs ban ©Getty Images

Peru's football captain Paolo Guerrero has made his first appearance on the pitch following a six-month doping ban for cocaine use.

Guerrero was introduced as a second half substitute for Flamengo during their 2-0 defeat to Internacional at the Maracanã Stadium in Brazil's Serie A Championship.

According to reports, the striker received "raucous applause" from the majority of the 60,000 fans at the game.

However, question marks remain over his appearance at the World Cup in Russia in June as proceedings against him continue.

Following his appearance, Guerrero said: "I feel like I deserve this after what I've been through in the last six months.

"I'm feeling confident because I'm innocent.

"I want to play.

"Football is my life."

Guerrero was given his ban in December after testing positive for cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine after his country's 0-0 draw in their World Cup qualifier against Argentina in Buenos Aires on October 6.

Paolo Guerrero's eligibility to play at this summer's World Cup is still up in the air ©Getty Images
Paolo Guerrero's eligibility to play at this summer's World Cup is still up in the air ©Getty Images

The ban, backdated to November, was reduced to six months less than two weeks later after the player protested to FIFA's appeal committee.

As it stands, this means he is eligible to play in Peru's first World Cup campaign since 1982.

Since then though, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to have the ban extended to two years, which would render him ineligible for the tournament.

In response, Guerrero has launched a CAS appeal of his own in an attempt to fight WADA’s case and clear his name.

CAS have said that they may deliver their verdict on the cases this week.

Guerrero, 34, has denied using cocaine and has claimed he was the victim of food or drink contamination.

Peru must name their provisional squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup by May 14.