Maradona’s personal doctor has denied reports claiming that his client is being treated for drug use.
“Maradona has not relapsed into using drugs,” Alfredo Cahe said on the cable news station C5N.
Maradona checked into a clinic in Italy this week, where his doctor said the former football great will be treated for weight gain and stress.
His departure from Argentina, after defeats to Brazil and Paraguay in World Cup qualifying games, prompted immediate speculation about his widely reported battle with drugs.
With two qualifying games remaining next month, Argentina are in danger of missing their first World Cup since 1970, and Maradona is being blamed for their present predicament.
Five years ago, Maradona nearly died after suffering a heart attack attributed to a cocaine overdose. He says he’s been clean since. He has also had a gastric bypass to lose weight.
Cahe said the trip to the The Henri Chenot clinic in Merano, Italy, had been planned before the defeats to Brazil and Paraguay.
“This was not something improvised at the last moment,” Cahe said. “His (partner) Victoria chose the place.”
Maradona, 48, has fought a long battle with weight problems and Italian media reports noted he had used Chenot’s services to get fit while playing for Napoli 20 years ago.