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Thursday, 20 June 2019

Madrid police talk to Maradona after altercation at hotel

AP , Wednesday 15 Feb 2017
Diego Maradona
File photo: Former soccer player Diego Maradona of Argentina sits with his companion Rocio Oliva watching the Davis Cup finals tennis match in Zagreb (AP)
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Police were called to investigate an altercation involving Diego Maradona and a woman at a hotel in Madrid, authorities said Wednesday.

Officers were dispatched after a call from the hotel, but found no evidence of any serious disturbance after talking to Maradona and the woman. They said neither Maradona nor the woman showed signs of having been involved in a confrontation, and neither wanted to make a formal complaint.

Authorities said they couldn't confirm if the woman was a hotel guest or Maradona's girlfriend, Rocio Oliva. They also did not say if the call came from one of the guests or from hotel employees. Spanish media said police was called in after a ''strong argument'' involving guests at the hotel.

It wasn't clear if police talked to Maradona at his room or somewhere else in the hotel.

The 56-year-old Maradona is in the Spanish capital with his girlfriend to watch former club Napoli play Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League. He is a guest of Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis and is expected to give a pep talk to the players ahead of Wednesday's match.

Napoli's players are staying at the same hotel.

Spanish media on Tuesday released a video of Maradona threatening a reporter who tried to talk to him at the hotel in Madrid.

After the reporter said that he was struck by the former player as he passed by, Maradona came back and said, ''I didn't hit you, if I hit you, you will lose your nose.''

''Know that if I fight you one-on-one, I'll destroy you,'' Maradona is heard telling the reporter.

In the discussion that lasted several seconds outside an elevator, Maradona said all he wanted to do was ''eat in peace,'' and that the reporter was not welcomed because he was not a guest at the hotel.

The outspoken former Argentina great has been involved in a long list of controversies, both on and off the field. His tumultuous personal life is often a target for local media in Argentina.

In 2014, he slapped a journalist in the face and called him an ''idiot'' outside a theater in Buenos Aires. Ten years earlier, Maradona fired an air gun at reporters and was given a two-year suspended sentence.

Maradona, who led Argentina to the World Cup title in 1986, was banished from the 1994 World Cup for doping after testing positive for five types of stimulants and diet pills. In 1991, he was suspended for 15 months for testing positive for cocaine while playing for Napoli.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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