Agassi admits drug use
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:53
Agassi has revealed his use of the substance in his new autobiography ‘Open’ and that he received a call from a doctor working for the Association of Tennis players (ATP) in the autumn of 1997 to inform him that he had failed a drug test.
“My name, my career, everything is now on the line. Whatever I’ve achieved, whatever I’ve worked for, might soon mean nothing,” Agassi wrote in his autobiography which is being serialised by The Times. “Days later I sit in a hard-backed chair, a legal pad in my lap, and write a letter to the ATP. It’s filled with lies interwoven with bits of truth.”
He added: “I say Slim, whom I’ve since fired, is a known drug user, and that he often spikes his sodas with meth — which is true. Then I come to the central lie of the letter.
“I say that recently I drank accidentally from one of Slim’s spiked sodas, unwittingly ingesting his drugs. I ask for understanding and leniency and hastily sign it: Sincerely.
“I feel ashamed, of course. I promise myself that this lie is the end of it.”
That year was the American’s worst on tour as he failed to win a title and missed the Australian and French Opens as well as Wimbledon – and at one point had fallen to 141 in the world rankings.
The 39-year-old also recounted being introduced to the drug while sitting at his home with Slim.
“Slim dumps a small pile of powder on the coffee table. He cuts it, snorts it. He cuts it again. I snort some. I ease back on the couch and consider the Rubicon I’ve just crossed,” Agassi wrote.
“There is a moment of regret, followed by vast sadness. Then comes a tidal wave of euphoria that sweeps away every negative thought in my head. I’ve never felt so alive, so hopeful — and I’ve never felt such energy.”