Maradona repeats doping allegations

Buenos Aires: Argentine legend Diego Maradona has repeated doping allegations against Argentine Football Federation president Julio Grondona, insisting the latter gave the green light for players to take a banned substance ahead of a 1994 World Cup play-off with Australia.

"Grondona told us a week beforehand we could take the substance we wanted as there was to be no anti-doping control," 1986 World Cup winner Maradona told Argentine radio station Metro yesterday.

Grondona said earlier this week that doping controls were deliberately overlooked so as to prevent Maradona, who served a 15-month suspension in 1991 for taking cocaine, fouling foul of a test.

Former Australian football officials have angrily denied being party to any deal to prevent drug testing before the play-off, which saw Argentina go through to the 1994 finals over two legs.

At the ensuing 1994 World Cup, he would additionally test positive for ephedrine.