'Balotelli dealt drugs', Camorra informant says

Italy star laughs off claim

'Balotelli dealt drugs', Camorra informant says

Naples, May 30 - Italian soccer star Mario Balotelli dealt drugs "as a joke" in a troubled neighbourhood of Naples in 2010, an informant from the local Camorra mafia said Thursday. Armando De Rosa told prosecutors Italy striker Balotelli asked his alleged Camorra hosts if he could hand out the next dose, and they let him. "We asked the client if he recognised Balotelli but he didn't have a clue (who he was)," De Rosa said during questioning in a money-laundering probe. Balotelli quickly responded on Twitter, saying the media should be "ashamed of itself" for reporting such claims. "AHAHAHAHA, they said I used prostitutes, next time maybe they'll say I take it up the...," the Italy and AC Milan star tweeted. "Don't use me to boost your audience (figures)", said the former Inter Milan and Manchester City star, whose temperamental behaviour, anger at racism and wacky off-field antics have gained headlines worldwide. In September 2011, Balotelli was called in for questioning after the visit to the Scampia neighbourhood of Naples that is notorious for drug trafficking and the activity of the Camorra. According to prosecutors at the time, the striker had been accompanied by two "senior Camorra figures". Balotelli has always insisted he didn't know who the men were when they took him around Scampia, an area he was interested in because of its resemblance to the poor Palermo quarter where he grew up.

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