Diego Maradona lost his appeal of a 15-month suspension Saturday as Italy's highest soccer authority upheld the worldwide ban imposed when the sport's best-known and highest paid star tested positive for cocaine.

Maradona's lawyer, Enzo Maria Siniscalchi, argued in his appeal that cocaine should not be considered a performance-enhancing drug because it was taken well before the Italian League match between Maradona's Napoli team and Bari. It was after that March 17 game that Maradona tested positive for cocaine.In a three-line statement, the Federal Appeals Commission said it had rejected "the appeal by Diego Armando Maradona, confirming the 15-month suspension of the player decided by the first-degree commission."

The suspension runs through June 1992 and not only will keep Maradona from playing for Napoli, but also for Argentina's national team, which he led to the world title in 1986. He is captain of both clubs.