Maradona falls out with his talkative `friends

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The Independent Online
Argentina: Diego Maradona, as ever, is in the news. The fallen Argentine hero is now threatening legal action against some of the coaches, footballers and agents who agreed to be interviewed for the book Hand of God, which is a chronicle of his ever-controversial career.

"The author [journalist Jimmy Burns] is really out of order," Maradona said this week in Spain, where he is continuing his drug rehabilitation. "Those who have spoken about me in the book are going to get into real trouble." Among the contributors to the book attacked by Maradona are Cesar Menotti and Carlos Bilardo, the coaches of the Argentine teams that won the World Cup in 1978 and 1986. "I don't want them to speak in a book that does not say good things about me," Maradona said. "If these are my friends, I prefer to have enemies."

Back in Buenos Aires on Wednesday, an Argentine police drug squad raided Maradona's club, Boca Juniors, the Argentine Football Association offices, and a sports training centre where football match drug tests are examined.

The records seized included those of the tests done two months ago on Maradona and a Deportivo Espanol player, Martin Vargas. There was an outcry when Maradona was shown to be "clean" but Vargas was not. The sports newspaper El Grafico asked: "How can it be that Vargas tests positive while Maradona, who recognises he is an addict, does not?"

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