Maradona Faces Long Suspension

From Staff and Wire Reports

Soccer star Diego Maradona tested positive for cocaine Friday and will be suspended for up to two years.

The announcement by the Italian Soccer Federation came less than a year after the forward helped Argentina to its second consecutive World Cup final and Napoli to its second Italian League championship.

The length of the suspension will be decided by the disciplinary commission of the Italian League, which is expected to meet next week. Italian soccer regulations call for a minimum suspension of six months and a maximum of two years.

The ban automatically will be extended worldwide by the International Federation of Association Football, making the 30-year-old Maradona ineligible to play for Argentina in this summer’s America Cup, the South American championship.

Maradona could not be reached for comment.

Napoli reported Thursday that Maradona had tested positive after its 1-0 victory over Bari March 17. A second test was conducted Friday, and the Italian federation immediately made the announcement.