Grondona acknowledges absence of doping tests

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- The head of the Argentine Football Association has confirmed that doping controls were done away with during the World Cup qualifying playoff against Australia in 1993.

Julio Grondona says in an interview published Wednesday in the Argentine newspaper Clarin that the move was aimed at protecting Diego Maradona and other players.

The acknowledgment of the lack of testing was Grondona's first statement following charges by Maradona several days ago in a television interview that the powerful FIFA vice president knew about the arrangement and allowed it to happen.

Maradona also has charged that players were given a "speedy coffee" to perform better during the game. Grondona made no comment on those accusations.