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Diego Maradona Did Drugs For Both Fun And Profit

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Diego Maradona admitting drug use is not a big deal, since Maradona has publicly admitted cocaine use both during and after his playing career. He's still a bit sensitive about it, though, and especially so when the criticism comes from the ancient head of Argentina's soccer association, Julio Grondona.

Maradona, ever the diplomat, gently mentioned last week that Grondona (also the VP of FIFA) that Grondona should retire from his post as the head of the Argentina Football Association. The 80-year-old said he was old but fine, but that others "had created their own problems." Maradona, believing this was a reference to his long struggle with cocaine, then decided to talk about his past drug use--namely, the kind he did in the name of his national team with the full knowledge of Grondona before the final crucial qualifier with Australia in the 1994 World Cup.

"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."

Maradona claims there was no anti-doping test before the match, and he would have been paying close attention to this as he was later thrown out of the '94 World Cup for cocaine use, and thus probably on something throughout much of the runup to the competition. There is a point here about potential corruption in the Argentine doping protocols, sure, but what I'd like to point out here that Diego Maradona didn't just do drugs for the hell of it. Sometimes he did it for his country, and that's what really counts here.