'We hid car keys to stop Diego from escaping'

PTI | ByAgence France-Presse, Buenos Aires
May 08, 2004 11:06 AM IST

Maradona's disregard for his doctors was blamed for his being placed back in intensive care six days after his release from a Buenos Aires hospital.

Maradona's disregard for his doctors was on Thursday blamed for his being placed back in intensive care six days after his release from a Buenos Aires hospital.

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The Argentine football legend is under sedation again at the Suizo-Argentina clinic where he was treated from April 18 to 29 suffering from heart and lung problems.

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The latest medical bulletin described the player's overall condition as "stable" while his heart and breathing have shown signs of "improvement".

A friend of the player, quoted in the local press, gave an insight into Maradona's hedonistic lifestyle since his release where he has been staying at the home of a business friend at General Rodriguez, a town 50km to the north-west of Buenos Aires.

"Diego was very anxious and wanted to leave. They even had to hide all the keys of the cars around the place to stop him escaping," the friend said.

Just days after hovering between life and death Maradona was reportedly tucking into a diet of grills and pasta, washed down with red wine, and welcoming a stream of visitors between stints of playing golf and football.

"He was readmitted to hospital because he was doing everything that he shouldn't have been doing," medical sources claimed.

They said Maradona was put on sedatives to prevent him from checking out early.

The 43-year-old 1986 World Cup winning captain is breathing with the help of an ogygen mask.

Maradona's entourage meanwhile which includes ex-wife Claudia Villafane and his private doctor Alfredo Cahe want to transfer him to a specialist drug rehabilitation centre, the sources added.

"We're waiting for a sign from the family - for them to take the bull by the horns," one source told the Clarin newspaper.

Dr Cahe suggested the player's switch to a detox unit would come in the next two or three days.

He told Chilean television that Maradona's second visit to hospital was due to the effects of too much activity and the player "eating too much".

Dr Cahe confirmed that Maradona's urine tests were "negative" and that doctors had found no traces of drugs.

Maradona has been battling his cocaine addiction at a specialist drugs centre in Cuba for the past four years.

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