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17.04.2007 Football News

DIEGO MARADONA BACK IN HOSPITAL

By BBC
DIEGO MARADONA BACK IN HOSPITAL

Argentine former football star Diego Maradona has returned to hospital with abdominal pains, two days after he went home following a two-week stay.Argentine media say the 46-year-old was taken to a Buenos Aires hospital in the early hours, but say doctors believe his life is not in danger.

He has been treated for acute toxic hepatitis related to alcohol abuse.

Maradona, who led the Argentine team to victory in the 1986 World Cup, has battled cocaine addiction and obesity.

His personal doctor, Alfredo Cahe, said he was taken to the emergency ward of a public hospital in the Argentine capital as a precaution.

Doctors' warning

He had been released from the private Guemes clinic earlier in the week after treatment for liver problems brought on by alcohol abuse.

The doctors there warned him not to overindulge in food or drink.

The clinic's head, Hector Pezzella, said he had been suffering from depression which led him to drink excessively.

Dr Cahe has said Maradona will probably need treatment for alcoholism for the rest of his life.

He had been expected to travel to a clinic in Switzerland for further treatment.

Maradona is revered in Argentina and the news of his return to hospital has dominated Friday's early TV and radio programmes.

In 1991 he was banned from playing football for 15 months after failing a drugs test. He tested positive again for banned drugs at the 1994 World Cup in the US.

He retired from competitive sport in 1997. In 2000, and again in 2004, he collapsed with heart problems and was taken to hospital.

Two years ago, he had a stomach stapling operation. He lost 30kg (66lb) and began playing football again.

But recently, Argentine media reported he had put on weight and was considering another slimming cure.

Last month, Argentina's central bank said it was investigating him for alleged financial irregularities.

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