‘Hasta luego’ says Diego

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‘Hasta luego’ says Diego

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BUENOS AIRES - Argentine players took banned substances before a qualifying match against Australia for the 1994 World Cup, Diego Maradona said Monday.

Maradona made the claim on Argentine television and accused FIFA vice president Julio Grondona, the head of Argentina’s Football Association, of knowing about the doping.

“Why weren’t there any anti-doping controls in the match with Australia if we had them in all the other games?’’ Maradona asked during an interview on Argentine television. “They give you 10 anti-doping controls and only the match that decides whether Argentina will go to the United States or not, there is no anti-doping control. That’s the cheat and Grondona knew about it.

“What happened is that to play against Australia we were given a speedy coffee. They put something in the coffee and that’s why we ran more.’’

Grondona had no immediate comment over Maradona’s claims.

After drawing with Australia in Sydney, Argentina won 1-0 in the second leg in Buenos Aires to advance to the tournament in the United States, from which Maradona was later sent home after testing positive for a banned substance.

The ongoing feud first erupted when Grondona decided not to renew Maradona’s contract as Argentina coach after the 2010 World Cup.

After Maradona suggested the AFA president should retire, Grondona was quoted as saying: “I’m old but healthy,’’ noting that others had “created problems’’ for themselves.

Maradona reiterated his intention to sue Grondona.

“Now he can chew on a trial. You can’t talk so lightly about a problem like the one I had,’’ he said.

Maradona said the AFA president has long been perfectly aware of drug use in football. Maradona went on to insinuate that the Argentine government was protecting Grondona because of a television deal with the AFA to broadcast national league matches for free.

“I’m not asking the president to fire him, I’m saying there should be changes,’’ Maradona said.

“If the government keeps backing him, given all the barbarities that Grondona does, because he’s old or because his time has passed, then they are wrong.’’

Argentine cabinet chief Anibal Fernandez rejected the idea that Grondona had any special protection.


AP


한글 관련 기사 [연합]
마라도나 "아르헨선수들, 월드컵예선 때 약물복용"

디에고 마라도나(51) 전(前) 아르헨티나 대표팀 감독이 1994년 미국월드컵 예선 경기를 앞두고 아르헨티나 선수들이 금지약물을 복용했었다고 주장했다.

24일(한국시간) AP통신에 따르면 마라도나는 자국 TV프로그램에서 미국 월드컵 플레이오프 호주와의 2차전 경기를 앞두고 대표팀 주치의가 선수들에게 금지약물을 넣은 커피를 먹게 했다면서 당시 커피를 마시고 선수들은 더 빨리 뛸 수 있었다고 말했다.

마라도나는 특히 훌리오 그론도나 국제축구연맹(FIFA) 부회장 겸 아르헨티나축구협회(AFA) 회장이 경기 후 약물검사가 없을 것이라고 알려줬다면서 그론도나 회장에게 화살을 돌렸다.

아르헨티나가 월드컵 본선 진출에 실패할 수도 있는 상황에 몰리자 그론도나 회장이 선수들의 금지약물 복용에 직접 관여했다는 것이다.


당시 호주와의 1차전 원정경기에서 1-1로 비긴 아르헨티나는 2차전 홈 경기에서 1-0으로 이겨 월드컵 본선에 진출했다.

하지만, 마라도나는 미국 월드컵 때 금지약물인 에페드린을 복용한 것이 발각돼 15개월 출장 정지를 당했고, 결국 국가대표 선수 생활을 끝냈다.

이 같은 마라도나의 폭로는 최근 재임에 성공한 그론도나 회장을 겨냥한 것으로 보는 시각이 지배적이다.

마라도나는 지난해 남아프리카공화국 월드컵에서 아르헨티나 대표팀을 이끌었지만 8강에서 탈락하고 지휘봉을 내려놓는 과정에서 그론도나 회장과 마찰을 빚었다.

한편, 마라도나는 최근 아랍에미리트(UAE) 프로축구팀 알 와슬과 2년 계약을 맺어 10개월 만에 감독직에 복귀했다.

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