AFA says no doping controls were required in '93

AFA says no doping controls were required in '93

Published May. 31, 2011 6:38 p.m. ET

The Argentine Football Association says there were no doping controls during the 1993 World Cup playoffs against Australia because they were not required at the time.

Tuesday's statement from AFA was its first in writing since former national coach Diego Maradona charged last week in a TV interview that Argentine players were given ''speedy coffee'' to perform better, and that AFA president Julio Grondona did away with doping controls for the matches.

The statement did not address Maradona's key charge about stimulants being offered.

In a statement titled ''The honor of everyone is saved,'' AFA said doping tests at the time were required only during the World Cup itself. It said all Argentines involved followed the rules ''to the letter of the law.''


Maradona and Grondona have been feuding publicly since last year's World Cup, when Grondona declined to renew Maradona's contract as national coach. It was Grondona who hired Maradona, despite his lack of coaching experience when he took the job.

The statement did not mention Maradona.

Grondona acknowledged last week there were no doping controls, partly to protect some players.

''A small personal controversy has been generated in recent days, when an ex-player believed that with his inexact words and bad intentions he could damage - or attempt to damage - the dramatic qualification against Australia.''

Grondona said last week there was an agreement with Australia to prevent drug testing. However, Ian Holmes, who was the Australia federation chief in 1993, has said there was no such agreement.

Argentina drew the first match in Sydney 1-1 and won the return 1-0 in Buenos Aires to secure a berth in the 1994 tournament.

At the 1994 World Cup in the United States, Maradona was suspended for testing positive for stimulants after a first-round match against Nigeria. FIFA subsequently suspended him for 15 months.

Grondona is in Zurich for Wednesday's FIFA presidential election, which has been overshadowed by bribery allegations against two executive committee members - Jack Warner and Mohamed bin Hammam.

Grondona, 79, has been an executive committee member since 1988 and is listed as a senior vice president. He is the only one of eight FIFA vice presidents to carry that title.

Grondona is also the chairman of FIFA's finance committee. Warner and bin Hamman are also members.