Maradona claim shows Aussie naivety

Diposting oleh football on Selasa, 24 Mei 2011

Robbie Slater says Australian soccer was naive not to ensure drug testing took place at the World Cup qualifiers with Argentina in 1993 but insists Diego Maradona's claims of doping won't sour his memories of the experience.

Soccer legend Maradona has made sensational claims on Argentine television that he and his team-mates were given performance-enhancing "speedy coffees" prior to the return leg in Buenos Aires, which Argentina won to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

And he claimed FIFA vice president Julio Grondona, the head of Argentina's Football Association, knew about it.

"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 The Football Show.

"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."

After a 1-1 draw with Australia in Sydney, Argentina triumphed 1-0 at home against a spirited Socceroos to advance to the finals in the US the following year, a tournament from which Maradona was sent home after testing positive to a banned substance.

Socceroos great Slater played in both qualifying matches against the Argentines, and admitted a tinge of sadness about Maradona's allegations.

"I guess there's a little bit of disappointment to hear that sort of thing, it's a long, long time ago," Slater told AAP.

"For me it shows two things from both sides ... Maradona's pin-pointed Grondona and that's a pretty big allegation to practically say that he made sure there was no doping for that game.

"The other side is Australia, it shows how naive we were at that time given the circumstances around Maradona's return and his history at the time.

"We didn't make sure that there was doping before the two legs, the one in Sydney and the one in Buenos Aires.

"How stupid were we if we weren't making sure it did happen?"

Slater said the players had no suspicions at the time that their Argentine opponents could be using drugs but joked about the possibility when Maradona was sent home from the World Cup after the failed doping test.

Slater said memories of the matches, in which he played alongside the likes of Paul Wade, Alex Tobin, Frank Farina and Aurelio Vidmar, would not be tarnished by Maradona's claims.

"It certainly won't for me, it was a magical three weeks, it was mythical," Slater said.

"In spite of this coming out ... those two games, despite us not qualifying, rest as one of the best memories in my career."

Slater said the allegations had not made him wonder if the result of the match could have been different.

"With or without `speedy coffee', it's fairly okay for me to say they were a better side than us," he said.

"But still ... it just makes it a bit murky."

Grondona is yet to comment on Maradona's claims.

An ongoing feud between the two has erupted since Grondona decided not to renew Maradona's contract as Argentina coach after the 2010 World Cup.

{ 0 komentar... read them below or add one }

Posting Komentar