Maradona's latest crusade - Soccer, Sport - Independent.ie
Cornejo became an early influence on Maradona's career and he became the first to allow him to tangle with medicine men and Dr Feelgoods. Cornejo persuaded Maradona's parents to allow him to take the boy to a local doctor, 'Cacho' Paladino, who had a dubious reputation but specialised in building up boxers with vitamins and drugs. "Diego was so small when I took him on that he didn't seem to be strong enough," Cornejo told Burns. "I wanted Paladino to round him off, get him fatter and bigger. So I asked the doctor to give him vitamins and other things to help him develop. 'Cacho', I said to him, 'you fix him. This boy is going to grow up to be a star'." Nothing was getting in the way of the dream.
Chris Taylor: The Observer Profile: Diego Maradona | Football | The Observer
As a boy, he had been given steroids to build him up and as a player he regularly received cortisone shots to play while injured, but it was in Barcelona that he discovered the recreational use of cocaine, a habit that grew in Naples.
Diego Armando Maradona - The Sorrow and the Pity - NYTimes.com
Drugs and Maradona are more linked than is at first apparent. He was weaned on them even before he knew it. Scurrilous men in his past, so-called doctors, mixed steroids with his food to build a frail physique into something bull-like.
In his teens, he was administered more drugs. These, the appalling painkillers that sporting authorities incongruously allow, racked and distorted the ankle, the knee, the suffering back of a superstar whose multimillion-dollar transfer fees and million-dollar salary were the excuses to patch him up, to push him through nature's warning, to play him on half a leg.
Diego Maradona in FHM, April 2000 | Reviews | 16 Dec 2009 | FHM.com
Aged eight, he signed up to the youth wing of Argentinos Juniors, then a first division side. On arrival, however, the youth trainer noted that the kid was exceptionally small, almost dwarf-like. It was at this point that Maradona first became aware of the power of drugs.
The point I am trying to make with these, regardless of sources, is that this isnt something that is hidden or unknown. This is out there and have been for years with a wide variety of publications making note of it and stating it as fact rather than rumour.
Now without a doubt a lot of this was influenced by the book "Hand of God: The Life of Diego Maradona, Soccer's Fallen Star" by Jimmy Burns and others have taken it further.
That has direct quotes from his mentor and doctor on their backroom medicine methods.
In an effort to be fair, here is the author on how Maradona found the book.
I cant find any of the documentaries online that I have seen that have looked into it. So you can either take my word on that, which I doubt you will do or dismiss it, which you are within your rights to do.
You want a wiki mention? Well Id argue that that doesnt mean much but there are lots of mentions on non-English language wikipedia pages.
Here is the translated page of Serbian language Wikipedia and it is in a lot of others. I have no idea why it is not on the English language page.
"Uz dopuštenje roditelja odveo je Diega lekaru sumnjive reputacije. With the permission of parents took the dubious reputation Diego doctor. Kačo Paladino, injekcijama, je podignuo mišiće buduće zvijezde. Paladin je to 1995 . Kačo Paladino, injections, the muscles podignuo future stars. Paladin is 1995 . godine, nakon penzionisanja, priznao pred novinarima rekavši: Kad sam okončao tretman, Diego je izgledao poput najboljeg trkačkog konja. years after retirement, admitted to reporters saying: When I completed treatment, Diego looked like the best horse racing. Pri tom uopšte nije pocrveneo, a trebao je, jer je tim činom odveo Maradonu u svet dopinga. At the same time did not blush, and was supposed to, because that act took Maradona to the world of doping."
Now it is fine if you don't believe it. But it is more than just rumours and most in the game have little to no problem accepting the words of his mentor, doctor and those around him and believe it to be true.
As I said previously, I dont hold this against Maradona. I see him as a victim of a twisted combination of the will of others to help him and themselves.