Pele's son to enter drug rehabilitation program

Pele's son will enter a drug rehabilitation program while he awaits trial on drug-related charges, local media reported Tuesday. Edson Cholbi do Nascimento, 35, was released from prison on Dec. 17 and decided to seek treatment after consulting with Pele and his family, the O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported. Nascimento, a former professional soccer player known as Edinho, was among 50 people arrested on June 6 when police dismantled a drug gang based in Santos, a port city 300 kilometers (200 miles) southwest of Rio de Janeiro.

Nascimento issued a statement after his arrest admitting he was a drug user but not a trafficker. Nascimento faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Nascimento was an unexceptional goalkeeper for Santos, where his father starred for years. Pele, considered the best soccer player ever, blamed his frequent absences from home for his son's involvement with drugs.

In 1999, Nascimento was convicted of vehicular homicide for taking part in a car race on a city street that killed a motorcyclist. He was sentenced to six years in a work-release program, but he appealed the ruling and was acquitted, reports the AP. N.U.

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