ATP consider Agassi revelations
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:53
Eight-time grand slam winner Agassi has admitted in a new book that he gave the ATP a statement containing false information after being informed by a Tour doctor that he had failed a doping test.
Agassi, whose autobiography ‘Open’ is set to be released next month, was using crystal meth, a highly-addictive drug, in 1997 as he struggled with professional and personal issues. Agassi convinced the ATP not to punish him after writing a letter to argue the use was accidental.
Recognising his career “might soon mean nothing”, Agassi stressed to the ATP that he was not to blame, claiming he made mistakenly drank from a spiked soda belonging to ‘Slim’.
He wrote: “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.”
Agassi said the ATP reviewed his case and while he faced a minimum three-month ban, decided to believe his account and the case was withdrawn.
The ATP are looking at the American’s confession, and they are considering whether to respond. They will have to decide whether to explore taking retrospective disciplinary action against the player who won five of his grand slams after 1997.
The 39-year-old, who retired in 2006, recounted being introduced to the drug while sitting at home with his one-time assistant who he referred to as ‘Slim’, and admits in his book that the use was deliberate.
Recalling his first experiment with crystal meth, he writes in the book, which is being serialised in The Times: “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.”