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By ESPN Staff

Drug-related trial of Pele's son gets annulled

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Pele's son's trial on drug-related charges was annulled by a Brazilian court because he was not allowed to present his defense in writing as allowed by law, Brazilian media said Wednesday.

Edson Cholbi do Nascimento, who played soccer professionally in Brazil as a goalkeeper, was among 11 defendants accused of belonging to a drug gang that was dismantled by police in 2005. Nascimento spent several months at a maximum security prison before being released to await trial.

Brazilian media said the court annulled the trial because a judge erroneously kept the defendants from presenting their defense in writing.

Nascimento always denied he was a drug trafficker, but admitted he was a user and entered a drug rehabilitation program after being released from prison.

He was a second-string goalkeeper for eight years with Santos, his father's former club. He retired in 1999.

Nascimento was convicted of vehicular homicide in 1999 for taking part in a 1992 car race on a city street that killed a motorcyclist. He was sentenced to six years in a work-release program, but the sentence was not served because he appealed the ruling and was acquitted in a new trial.

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