This Monday April 26, 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of a news story that shocked Argentina and the world: the police had arrested Diego Armando Maradona for possession of drugs, specifically cocaine, in an apartment in the Caballito neighborhood (Buenos Aires) . Maradona, who died on November 25, 2020, was still a Naples player at the time.
The TV images, which showed Maradona escorted by policemen, handcuffed, went around the planet. The 1986 world champion in Mexico and the runner-up in Italy 1990, who was then 30 years old, was with two friends, Ricardo Ayala and Jorge Pérez, who were also arrested.
Maradona spent a night in detention and the judge ordered him to undergo rehabilitation treatment
Maradona spent a night in detention. The following day, after paying a bail equivalent to 16,500 euros, he was released. There was no criminal proceeding against the Argentine. Amelia Berraz de Vidal, the judge in charge of the case, ordered Maradona to undergo rehabilitation treatment.
Julio Mera Figueroa, Minister of the Interior, said the next day “The information we have is that the player was intoxicated by drugs and only asked to be allowed to sleep.”
Maradona’s career had started its irreparable downhill a month earlier, when he tested positive for cocaine after a game with Napoli against Sampdoria (4-1 for the Genoese, Diego scored a penalty for his team). In the end, Maradona’s last meeting with the Neapolitan team.
Fifteen months of suspension for his positive
The Italian Football Federation imposed a 15-month suspension on him, a sanction that FIFA extended to the whole world. Maradona had settled in Buenos Aires with his family. He never played for Napoli again, which nine days after the Argentine’s death last November renamed his stadium (San Paolo), which is now called Diego Armando Maradona.
After that arrest and his goodbye to Napoli, once the sanction was served, Maradona returned to play (Sevilla, Newell’s, Boca). At the 1994 World Cup in the United States, after the match with Argentina against Nigeria (2-1 for the albiceleste), Maradona tested positive for an anti-doping test and was expelled from the tournament.