Ex-Fiorentina coach probed over leukaemia death

December 12, 2007

MILAN, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Former Fiorentina coach Carlo Mazzone is one of three people being investigated over the 1987 leukaemia death of player Bruno Beatrice after allegations he underwent radiation treatment to cure an injury.

Mazzone, Fiorentina boss between 1975 and 1978, has been accused of manslaughter by a Florence prosecutor. Beatrice died aged 39 having been diagnosed two years earlier.

A medical assessment requested by the prosecutor said: 'There exists a compatibility between the therapy practised in 1976 and the acute leukaemia diagnosed in Beatrice in 1985.'

Mazzone told Radio Radio he was staying calm.

'The investigators came here some time ago to know what happened and I replied that I was the man on the field, I didn't know what happened in the medical room,' he said. 'I never interfered in the work of the doctors.'

Several Italian players from the 1970s and 80s have died prematurely with relatives alleging that medical practices and drugs used at the time contributed to a variety of illnesses.

The main doctor at Juventus was accused of giving players illegal drugs in the mid-1990s.

Riccardo Agricola was found guilty at a first trial but was later acquitted before a second appeal court reversed the ruling this year, although it was too late for Juve to be punished.