Maradona teammates deny consciously taking drugs

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Former Argentina teammates of Diego Maradona back his claims that there were no drug tests before a World Cup playoff with Australia in 1993. They also say they have no knowledge of receiving performance-enhancing drugs.

Maradona said Monday the players were given a "speedy coffee" to give them more energy before the playoff to decide whether the team would qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the U.S.

Teammates including Hugo Perez, Jorge Borelli and Jose Chamot deny consciously taking any illegal substances. Perez tells The Associated Press the players "just concentrated on playing."

Maradona says Argentine Football Association President Julio Grondona knew about the doping. Grondona has made no comment.