Mavys Alvarez has made serious allegations against late football icon Diego Maradona © Agustin Marcarian / Reuters
A woman who alleges Diego Maradona raped her when she was 16 has spoken to the media - and a neurologist in Argentina has revealed the troubling reason why he says the football legend was buried without his heart.
As Maradona’s daughters bicker with his lawyer over the handling of his estate and the holding of a friendly between former clubs Barcelona and Boca Juniors in Saudi Arabia, the legendary striker’s name continues to be shrouded in controversy due to serious allegations.
After testifying last week to an Argentine Ministry of Justice court, Mavys Alvarez has again claimed at a Buenos Aires press conference that a 40-year-old Maradona raped her in 2001 when she was still a teenager and stole her childhood.
Alvarez has alleged that Maradona sexually assaulted her while her mother was in the next room when she was in Havana to receive treatment, and there has been separate video footage of the pair which has appeared to confirm they met.
"He covers my mouth, he rapes me. I don’t want to think about it too much," Alvarez told the media.
"I stopped being a girl, all my innocence was stolen from me. It’s hard. You stop living the innocent things that a girl of that age has to experience."
While Alvarez has previously conceded that other parts of their relationship were consensual, she says Maradona forced himself on her as a 16-year-old on at least one occasion, and that there were external pressures due to the player’s close relationship with the now-deceased former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
"My family would never have accepted it if the Cuban government had not been involved," Alvarez said.
"They were forced in another way to accept a relationship that was not good for them, or for anyone."
Filing her complaint "in order to help all women, all victims of trafficking, of crime" and "to be able to help them in whatever way I can", she also explained how difficult it was for her to step foot in Argentina again, where Maradona is revered as a demigod.
"It’s hard to be in his country, to see that he is everywhere: he is an idol and, at the same time, everything I remember about him as a person feels ugly," Alvarez stated.
Meanwhile, Nelson Castro has made astonishing remarks about Maradona’s body on a TV show as the anniversary of the 1986 World Cup winner’s death from a cardio-respiratory arrest approaches on November 25.
Alleged mispractices by the physicians responsible for his care are still being investigated, and Castro, who will release a book claiming to divulge details on the ex-Napoli star’s health, says that Maradona was buried without his heart.
© Agustin Marcarian / Reuters
According to Castro, the organ was removed from the corpse because it "was detected that this was going to happen, so his heart was also removed to study it because it was very important in determining the cause of Maradona’s death."
"The information is that he is buried without a heart," said Castro, who appeared on the TV show as a guest, as reported by Merco.
"He had a privileged body in terms of resistance, as the doctor of his dilated heart disease said [that] other people would have died [from it]. The problem is that he never wanted to make a sustained recovery."
According to Castro, Maradona’s heart "weighed half a kilo, when a normal heart weighs 300 grams" and was oversized "due to other things such as his heart failure and the heart disease he had".
But another group is also said to have had more sinister plans to remove Maradona’s heart from his body.
Castro explained how there were was a plot by a group of hooligans who follow Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata - the last team Maradona managed - to steal his heart from the grave. The medical studies, he said, thwarted that plan.