World soccer's governing body banned Argentinian star Diego Maradona from playing nationally or internationally for 15 months because he took a banned stimulant during the World Cup, his lawyer said today.
The FIFA disciplinary panel decided on the further punishment for Maradona's failure of a routine drug test after Argentina's second match of the World Cup against Nigeria on June 25.Maradona, 33, captain of the Argentine team, was banned June 30 from the World Cup.
A FIFA official confirmed the penalty, to run through Sept. 29, 1995, and said Maradona was also fined $15,400.
"I'm very angry and disappointed," said Maradona's lawyer, Daniel Balotnicoff, after the 2 hour, 45 minute closed-door hearing. "He cannot play any football for 15 months."
The panel, whose decision is final, could have banned Maradona for life.
"There is no standard penalty," said FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren before the decision was announced. "He could get a fine, a suspension, a ban . . . anything is possible."
The hearing was called to establish whether Maradona intentionally took the stimulant ephedrine, traces of which were found in Maradona's urine.
Herren said there is no doubt about the test itself, and the medical issue is no longer in question. Two analyses undertaken at UCLA confirmed the presence of five ephedrine derivatives in the urine sample.