DIEGO MARADONA had no traces of alcohol or illegal drugs in his blood and urine when he died – but he was suffering major heart, liver and kidney problems.
But tests carried out after a post-mortem following the footy legend’s death on November 25 death did show up a cocktail of prescription drugs including Quetiapine, Venlafaxine and Levetiracetam.
Some of the pills had already been named as being among those the former Napoli and Barcelona star is thought to have been taking in the run-up to his untimely death at a rented home near Buenos Aires following a hospital brain blood clot op.
Quetiapine is used to treat mood disorders including depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Antidepressant Venlaxfaxine is sometimes used to treat panic attacks.
Levitiracetam belongs to a class of drugs known as anticonvulsants and is used with other medication to treat epilepsy and try to decrease the number of seizures.
The drug Ranitidine was also detected, which is used for indigestion and heartburn but is not currently available in the UK and is the focus of an ongoing investigation into whether some ingredients can increase the risk of cancer.
Although some of the drugs found in his system can cause arrhythmia, the tests have confirmed there is no evidence Maradona was being given medication for the heart disease he was suffering.
The retired footballer’s dire state of health was laid bare in the report compiled on the back of the follow-up toxicology tests, showing Maradona was suffering liver cirrhosis, a kidney disorder called acute tubular necrosis which can lead to acute kidney failure, coronary artery disease and myocardial fibrosis.
It had already been reported that his heart weighed 503 grams, almost double that of a normal heart for a man his age.
A doctor who asked not to be named told local press: “His body was on the edge. Or over the edge.”
Maradona was declared dead around midday on November 25.
Initial post-mortem results revealed the recovering cocaine addict, who also had alcohol problems, had suffered heart failure which caused a pulmonary edema.
Medics are also said to have detected dilated cardiomyopathy, a medical condition in which the heart muscle becomes weakened and enlarged and cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body.
Pulmonary edema, fluid accumulation in the lung’s tissue and air spaces, are caused by heart problems in most cases.
State prosecutors are conducting an ongoing investigation into his death to try to establish if he was the victim of sub-standard care after leaving hospital two weeks earlier following his brain blood clot op.
The former footballer’s personal physician Leopoldo Luque had his home and office searched and belongings including a computer and mobile phone seized around three weeks ago.
The office of Agustina Cosachov, a psychiatrist who was part of Diego’s care team after his hospital release, was also searched as part of the investigation.
Last week the home of a new witness, named locally as Maximiliano Trimarchi and identified as the brother of Diego’s accountant Andrea Trimarchi, was searched.
Sources close to the case told Argentinian media the new witness had been at the rented house the day Maradona died but had not made investigators aware of his presence.
Mr Luque has denied any wrongdoing.
He said after the search by police and prosecutors at his home near Buenos Aires: “If I’m responsible for anything when it comes to Diego, it was loving him, caring for him, improving his life to the end and extending it.”
He also described the Argentinian idol as an ‘impossible’ patient who hated doctors but had a special relationship with him.
Insisting Maradona’s daily wellbeing once he left hospital on November 11 following his op was not his direct responsibility, he added: “I don’t blame myself for anything. It’s very unfair what’s happening.
“Someone is trying to find a scapegoat here when I don’t see one anywhere.
“We all did the best we could with Diego.”
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