Robinho blasts Pele's 'absurd' claim that the Manchester City star took drugs
23 March 2009 08:51
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Brazil striker Robinho has dismissed suggestions by legendary fellow-countryman Pele that he has taken drugs.
Pele claimed that Manchester City's record signing Robinho and former world footballer of the year Ronaldo took drugs at a private party in Sao Paolo.
The comments have caused a sensation in Brazil. However, Pele's assertion has left Robinho totally bemused.
Advisers for City's £34million record signing from Real Madrid are attempting to discover why Pele made such controversial comments.
While they acknowledge the 68-year-old's standing as the man widely acclaimed as the best player of all time, they will press for a retraction if one does not come voluntarily.
'We strenuously (deny) any such suggestions,' said a spokesman for the player. 'The notion of him taking drugs is absurd and we completely deny it.
'We are trying at this moment to get Pele to clarify the situation. We think these comments have been genuinely misunderstood or got lost in translation.'
Reports quoted Pele as talking about Diego Maradona's well-documented problems with cocaine and other drugs before saying: 'It's unfair to talk of drugs in football just because of one or two cases, as happened with Ronaldo and Robinho who had that problem.'
Of Argentina idol Maradona, Pele called him a 'bad example' before adding: 'Maradona was a very good player. Unfortunately what happened with him happened.'
Following Manchester City's 1-0 win against Sunderland, Eastlands boss Mark Hughes said: 'He needs to be very careful saying things that have not been substantiated.'
And a club spokesman said: 'There are rigorous drugs testing measures in force these days.'