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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007, 07:42 GMT 08:42 UK
Maradona 'improving' in hospital
Reporters and television crew outside a clinic in Buenos Aires (28 March)
The media await news on Maradona outside the clinic
Argentine former football star Diego Maradona is continuing to improve while undergoing treatment for acute hepatitis related to alcohol abuse.

Doctors treating Maradona at a Buenos Aires clinic issued a statement denying the 46-year-old had attempted suicide.

Admitted last Wednesday, he is expected to stay in hospital for two more weeks. Maradona, who led the Argentine team to victory in the 1986 World Cup and is revered in his country, has battled cocaine addiction and obesity.

Hector Pezzella, head of the private Guemes clinic in the Argentine capital, said: "This was not a suicide attempt. There has been good clinical progress."

He added: "What happened was a disorder in compulsive form, in this case due to alcohol."

Maradona, who had reportedly been admitted against his wishes, was "obeying doctors" and his life was not in any danger, Dr Pezzella said.

The former Argentine team captain is still idolised in his home country, and his fans have been watching and waiting for any news.

Stomach stapling

Dr Pezzella said Maradona had been suffering from depression, which had led him to drink excessively.

His personal physician, Alfredo Cahe, said doctors had feared the footballer could develop pancreatitis - a potentially fatal disease of the pancreas - if not admitted.

Diego Maradona in February 2007
Maradona has suffered from health problems in the past
He said the medical team would keep the public fully informed of Maradona's progress, adding that his latest health problems were less serious than those in 2000 and 2004.

As well as leading the winning World Cup team, Maradona won league titles at home and in Italy.

But in 1991 he was banned for 15 months after failing a drugs test and tested positive again for banned drugs at the 1994 World Cup in the US.

He retired from competitive sport in 1997. In 2004, he spent 10 days in intensive care with high blood pressure, breathing problems and a lung infection.

Two years ago, he had a stomach stapling operation. He lost 30kg (66lb), began playing football again and appeared to be getting his life back on track.

But the Argentine media recently reported that Maradona had put on weight and was considering taking a slimming cure in Switzerland.

Last month, Argentina's central bank said it was investigating him for alleged financial irregularities.


SEE ALSO
Inquiry into Maradona's finances
07 Mar 07 |  Americas
Police seize Maradona's watches
07 Jun 06 |  Europe
Five days with Diego
30 Apr 06 |  Football
Maradona arrested at Rio airport
22 Dec 05 |  Americas
Maradona on the political pitch
08 Nov 05 |  Americas
Maradona interviews Cuba's Castro
28 Oct 05 |  Americas
Maradona stands by 'Hand of God'
23 Aug 05 |  Americas

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