Soccer-Peru's Sanchez banned two years for doping violation

BERNE, March 1 (Reuters) - Peru midfielder Joel Sanchez has been banned for two years after failing a dope test in a World Cup qualifier against Bolivia in October, FIFA said on Friday.

FIFA said Sanchez, who plays for Lima side Universidad San Martin, had tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine. The match, Sanchez's second full international, was played at La Paz at 3,600 metres above sea level and ended in a 1-1 draw.

The Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) has already admitted the violation and said that the substance was included in a supplement which had been recommended to Sanchez by a nutritionist.

FPF president Manuel Burga said in January that it was "clearly an accidental situation". Sanchez said he had been taking supplements but had no intention of gaining an unfair advantage.

Sanchez, 23, previously played for Total Clean, Total Chalaco and Alianza Lima.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has classified methylhexaneamine as a "specified substance", recognising that it could be taken inadvertently and allowing tribunals more flexibility when imposing sanctions.

The ban on Sanchez was back-dated to Jan. 22, the date he was provisionally suspended. (Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by John Mehaffey)