Agassi in New Book Reveals He Took Crystal Meth
by Staff | October 27th, 2009, 8:43 pm
  • 71 Comments

Andre Agassi, in his new book, “Open,” says he took crystal meth, tested positive for the drug, then lied to the ATP to get them to throw out the case.


The new book is being serialized exclusively in London’s The Times.

Agassi in his book says he took the drug while his tennis career was hitting the skids and his marriage to model/actress Brooke Shields was looming.

According to The Times, Agassi was introduced to crystal meth by his assistant, who he only refers to as “Slim.”

“Slim is stressed too…He says, You want to get high with me? On what? Gack. What the hell’s gack? Crystal meth. Why do they call it gack? Because that’s the sound you make when you’re high…Make you feel like Superman, dude.

“As if they’re coming out of someone else’s mouth, I hear these words: You know what? F*** it. Yeah. Let’s get high.

“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.

“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.

“I’m seized by a desperate desire to clean. I go tearing around my house, cleaning it from top to bottom. I dust the furniture. I scour the tub. I make the beds.”

After testing positive for the recreational drug, Agassi wrote a letter to the ATP.

“My name, my career, everything is now on the line. Whatever I’ve achieved, whatever I’ve worked for, might soon mean nothing. 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.

“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.”

The ATP reviewed Agassi’s case and, faced with one of its superstars going down the road to ruin, threw it out.

Agassi is doing book-signings in November throughout the U.S. to promote “Open,” which will hit bookshelves in November 2009.


Also Check Out:
Andre Agassi Book On Sale Now
Agassi: Drug User, Tennis Hater
Agassi Cleared…for More Exos: Tennis-X Notes
Andre Agassi: Open for the Holidays
Tennis Reacts to Agassi Drug Confession

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71 Comments for Agassi in New Book Reveals He Took Crystal Meth

contador Says:

the bit about the meth and lying to atp makes me cringe. not surprised, but didn’t need to read about it or know quite that much info, mr. agassi.


sar Says:

I was never a fan of his but will read his book for the gory details.


di-10S Says:

fan of Andre
not a fan of drugs
:(


sensationalsafin Says:

I wasn’t a fan of his in his final years on tour but, in addition to everything he’s achieved on the court and with his school, I have a new found respect for him.


alex Says:

Admire him for his honesty and courage to come clean.


KillerC Says:

wow, he really did put his heart and soul into this book. Takes courage to admit that type of stuff, but makes em really real- shows humanity. not just some iconic sports hero you see on tv.. It lets you know that he’s human too! I cant wait for the book. Already gonna be a gr8 read. This guy went from the highest of highs, to lowest of lows to rising again. Real inspiration.


jane Says:

I like the pun in the title, and like other posters, I think it’s good that he comes “clean” in his book. One of the things that always drew me to Agassi (and other players like him) is his fallibility, his humanity. His life seems like one that’s been full of peaks and valleys – that should make for a good read.


Voicemale1 Says:

alex Says:
“Admire him for his honesty and courage to come clean.”

– – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

You think this is courageous? How exactly is this “coming clean”? He lies to the ATP – but only after he discovered they discovered what he was doing. Once he knows they know, he throws his pusher/”assistant” under the bus by firing him, lied through his teeth to the ATP and kept ALL of this burined (no doubt to the huger relief of the ATP who were probably less than enthusiastic about starting what could have been a legal row with the deep pocketed Agassi) for one reason: it was gonna kill the MILLIONS in endorsement money he kept raking in by the truckload for the next 9 years.

Oh yeah, and how exactly does he choose to “come clean” about this stuff? By profiling this deception in his own book – which he hopes you all will buy. And make him even more money. Yeah – a real Profile in Courage, that Agassi.


Jeff Says:

Gee Voicemale1, hate much????

Well I suppose every high profile person will have their haters and Double-A isn’t immune to that. I agree with Jane in that I admire the journey that Agassi took to get to where he is now as a gentleman, family man and humanitarian…all of this in which his fallibility and humanity helped build.


ciaran keane Says:

agassi is still the most exciting thing in tennis and he retired years ago, shows u how boring tennis players are today. the players r boring , the umpires r boring the ballboys r boring.I must not forget the commentaters especially on eurosport and sky so dull peter fleming in his staight jacket and sam smith is tim henmin in drag


Not here Says:

Voicemale1 does have one good point though: Agassi’s revelation will make the book sell. For that amount of money, I’m ready to come clean too. Anytime. But nobody cares about my life *sigh*


Voicemale1 Says:

Jeff Says:
Gee Voicemale1, hate much????

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Thanks Jeff. Every time I see someone use the term “haters” it’s far more revealing about the person who uses it that the person such a moniker targets. The users of such language attempt to hide their own insecurities by setting up a False Choice: we either have to blindly love what they do or be labeled with such a non-sequitir. Just because you find a reason to give him a pass doesn’t mean he should have gotten one. It wasn’t innocent by any stretch- he fully understood the consequences. THAT’S why he lied to the ATP. And he knew full well his biggest consequence would have been the MONEY. It would have dried up instantly. He knew it. Yeah – real “humanitarian” of him, dontcha think??

His millions he wanted to make sure kept rolling in (which is what prompted him to lie through his teeth to the ATP in the first place) would never have continued to roll in had the ATP done its’ job; the job they keep telling us they do which is so important for policing tennis to preserve it’s integrity. The ATP comes off as the biggest joke in this whole thing. The next time an governing body starts to talk about how their sacred work must continue for integrity preservation will be summarily laughed out of the room.


Temple Says:

Could he be stripped of titles because of this like Marion Jones?


jane Says:

Not here says ” I’m ready to come clean too. Anytime. But nobody cares about my life *sigh*”

LOL – maybe you should try a different poster name? “Not here” is so … innocuous. he he

Voicemale1 has a point about Andre’s tell-all, but I just have a difficult time being cynical or critical when it comes to Agassi in particular. Always liked the guy. In fact, the young Nadal reminded me of the young Agassi; my Aunt, too, is a diehard fan of both. They were both so different and striking when they showed up on the tennis scene.


jane Says:

Voicemale1 – curious – who is more culpable in all this: Agassi for being dishonest, getting away with it, and telling about it. Or the ATP for basically knowingly letting one of their stars off the hook? Both look bad to me. But on the other hand, I can see why both did what they did (i.e., Andre lieing so as not to be kicked out, and the ATP buying so as not to lose a star – money talks, money screams actually).

But I wouldn’t knock Agassi’s humanitarian efforts now; certainly they are doing wonders, from what I have seen and read.

It’s shitty that he took drugs and his assistant was the fall guy – no doubt. But it’s good, in some ways, to clear the air. From the sounds of it he’s quite ashamed. Sure, maybe it’s easy to be ashamed if you’ll profit off it (i.e., book sales) but maybe the money will be put back into his schools to help educate those less fortunate. It’s payback, in a way. And maybe, too, the ATP will be kind next time this happens, as they look bad? Or maybe someone reading will be hesitant to make the same rash decisions. We can, sometimes, learn from others mistakes. I guess I am saying maybe there are more benevolent reasons for writing his book than purely as a cash grab (not sure that’s what you were implying…)?


cliffbarnes Says:

Interesting, this discussion about people´s need to keep adoring Agassi despite his use of “”gack”. Should we condemn him for what he did, or for coming clean now so many years later, or should we embrace his honesty? It is always easier somehow to approve the faults of superstars. What if Brad Gilbert or Aaron Crickstein had done the same?
Another question: Was he ever high while playing a match? If he wasn´t, how exactly does his use of drugs relate to his tennis?


Kimo Says:

Do you guys even remember what life was like for Agassi in 1997? And no, I’m not making excuses, but all I’m saying is that I understand.

Sounds like he wasn’t a habitual user, so let’s not make a big deal out of it. It’s not like Meth is a performance enhancement drug.


Voicemale1 Says:

Jane:

Doesn’t matter who is “more” culpable. Each of them has a different culpability. Agassi faced his moment of truth when the ATP let him know they knew what he was doing. So he lied to protect his endorsement money, and that’s it. There’s no other reason to lie. He was fully aware what disclosure would cost him financially. There’s nothing “charitable” or “humanitarian” about that – it was self preservation. Moreover, this was a criminal activity, especially if he was paying “Slim” for the Meth he was using. Last I checked, buying illegal substances is still a crime. Agassi lied to save his own ass, he wanted to keep the Endorsement Gravy Train rolling into his bank account for the rest of his career (9 years in this case, representing untold millions of dollars to him), and threw “Slim” under the bus in the process.

And let’s remember something else. Whenever we see the word “Foundation” next to someone’s name it means only one thing: Tax Shelter. If someone with Agassi’s wealth doesn’t do that, the Tax Man will cometh and taketh. “Foundations” are ways to skirt tax liability and allow you to go creative in your accounting, “laundering” in effect your own money within your own foundation and get a lot of it back. This is done everywhere in the world. He’s no different. Even today, he, like many of us, is proudly about the money. You think he played this Macau exo with Sampras for free? NOT.

The curious aspect on the ATP side of this is how and why this drug test was buried. I can only guess Agassi’s life long pal Perry Rogers, an ATP Board Member, might have had a huge hand in squelching it. But now that Agassi has decided to cash in on his “story”, Andre’s absolution seeking/cashing in on my tragedy has left the ATP standing there with its fly open. They’re gonna have to answer why they buried the Agassi Drug Test instead of turning it over to outside authorities. And why was Agassi spared any consequences, but Gasquet was thrown out by the ATP? Was the ATP deathly afraid of taking on someone so publicly beloved and incrediblly wealthy as Agassi? How many other Drug Tests were buried then, or are buried now? WADA, the drug testing arm of the ATP, WTA and ITF weighed in on this doing pure CYA and lambasting the ATP (rightly). Given this admission by Agassi, any lip service these organizations publicly pays to “policing” tennis against such things is likely to be laughed at.

And as for Agassi admititng all of this now. You say it’s a good thing – but good for whom? Not real good for the ATP, is it? And what of any player during that period who had a bad test like Agassi but were NOT spared suspension, fine or expulsion from the tour – is this admission a good thing for them? And do we really know he will donate proceeds to his “school”. And if so, so what? Doesn’t that school get enough money via property taxes of the residents around there? And what of all those endorsements Agassi got after this drug test was buried? I’m sure his legal counself informed him a Criminal Statute of Limitations for such an activity has long since expired. But can those sponsors sue the ATP for burying evidence of a criminal activity that would have affected their decision to keep Agassi on their payroll? Can Agassi be sued by these same endorsement organizations for defrauding them?

So before you say it’s a good thing, you should take caution into weighing how many people are affected by it. It’s not just about Agassi, as much as he probably would like it to be.


been there Says:

Voicemale1@ 12:36am,

I have to agree with all points there. Very well said. Much as I admired his accomplishments, this really is appalling of Agassi. And worse still for ATP & ITF for covering it all up….yet here they are all over Gasquet micro-cocaine! Talk of double standards.

I see no bravery at all in this coming clean. The way I see it, it is the day-in-day out way of celebrities (sports, actors, musicians, politicians, etc) trying to embellish every little aspect of their lives for more fame & fortune.
———————————————-
Kimo says:

“It’s not like Meth is a performance enhancement drug.”

A drug is a drug. Period. If it’s banned, it’s banned. Is cocaine performance enhancing? Gasquet rings a bell. What about asthmatic tennis players who despite being on medication for health purposes, still have to adhere by the strict salbutamol rules, which can’t be controlled if one has an attack….Filippo Volandri rings a bell.

There should be no excuses made for the biggest stars, whoever their names are. Rules are rules and should apply to all. For me, it’s a big shame on the ATP & ITF…more so than on Agassi.


steve Says:

Agassi isn’t a saint and never claimed to be a saint. He is, however, a complete and fascinating human being.

He could have buried this. He has kids who are old enough to read this book. He has a wife who greatly values her family’s privacy. But he didn’t. He wanted to correct the record.

He just might be doing it to sell more books, but on the other hand he is lowering himself in the eyes of a lot of people by this admission. “Andre Agassi, 8-time Grand Slam champion and winner of the Golden Slam–and meth addict!” So it is much more complicated than it seems.

Maybe he wanted to tear down the facade of purity that the ATP works so hard to maintain. Maybe he wanted to warn young kids who idolize athletes about the pressures and demons that dog professional sportsmen (and sportswomen). Maybe he wants to give people who are suffering hope that they can overcome those demons, as he did. Or maybe he simply feels his own image has been built up a little too much and the rebellious punk side of him wants to tear it down a bit.

Whatever his motives, they shed more light on a fascinating, complex, contradictory human being.


sar Says:

He released that bombshell in advance of his book to sell copies. The same thing was done by MacKenzie Phillips who said she had sex with her father just before book hit the stands. Sadly, everything boils down to money.


sar Says:

Did anyone see Dinara retire against JJ? Strange. It was one game all and she just stopped, sat down on the bench and started sobbing. They say it’s her back but I’m wondering if something emotional is going on. Also, Wozniacki was injured but was running around like a rabbit. LOL


margot Says:

yeah, am inclined to agree with voicemale 1, why the confessional now? All this baring your soul in public I find very distasteful. If he needed to confess go to the ATP/ITF in private.
jane and other virtual pals- my tickets for WTF have arrived! How exciting is that?!


sar Says:

Congrats Margot! I am going to order my Indian Wells tickets in the next week or two when they go on sale.


steve Says:

“the young Nadal reminded me of the young Agassi; my Aunt, too, is a diehard fan of both. They were both so different and striking when they showed up on the tennis scene.”

To me, Nadal is only superficially like Agassi, in the choice of clothes and unorthodox style of play.

Nadal is an upper-middle class kid from Mallorca who had a totally unremarkable bourgeois upbringing. The evidence is that he’s never so much as had a naughty thought in his head. Ever. I would be shocked if I learned that he had ever even talked back to his parents. He’s a nice, polite, gentle fellow, but is not personally fascinating.

Agassi grew up in Vegas, and he has the kind of hard-bitten, desperate edge that city has. There was a real self-destructive streak to him, which he had to fight to overcome. There’s also a showman in him–more Vegas. He fought with his overbearing dad. He cursed at umps and shied balls at the line judges. He both hated and loved tennis.

In short, Agassi was a real punk, Nadal only dresses like one.

I don’t think there ever could be a Rafael Nadal story, in the way that there is an Andre Agassi story. If it were written it would be absent of real conflict, because he’s never had to fight himself.


PJ Says:

I’m not really surprised when anyone high profile admits to a wrongdoing. It’s almost cliche at this point. I also would not go as far to say that Andre is courageous for admitting to what he did. This is, again, cliche for a tell-all/biography. While I certainly wouldn’t condone what he did (the drugs or the lying), it is good that he is being honest. But I would think courage would be admitting it when it happened. It’s a lot easier to admit to a wrongdoing when there’s much less at stake, such as a career and sponsors.

The ATP is certainly in the wrong too. Even if there was an investigation and they determined Andre took the drug accidentally (whether that was true or not), the fact that it was unknown until now is the problem. People sit and wonder why high profile athletes and celebrities get breaks. This is exactly why.


Jeff Says:

Voicemale1: While I don’t discount your point of view, I find it overly cynical. But to me, Agassi is human and fallible and did what alot of decent people who have alot on line would’ve done. Just because you make one huge mistake, does not make you a bad person for your life as a whole. No need to get personal here with your attacks on insecurities. The reality is that I chose to look at things with a positive perspective and if you chose to describe that as a way to cover insecurities, than that is your perogative. I just don’t care for people who are overly negative because to me, it makes you come off as a douchebag and I really have a problem with people like that. I suppose we can just agree to disagree and leave it at that. As for Agassi and his “tax shelter”, I’m sure the many underprivileged kids in the Las Vegas area that his foundation has helped was disagree that it doesn’t make a difference.

Celebrity or not and as we all say the rules apply to everyone, I just simply accept what Agassi did to be that of what anyone, even honorable men, can be capable of. I will say that perhaps some skeletons should remain in the closet, but maybe Agassi felt he needed to get something off his conscience. I’m not surprised his reasoning for doing this is also in question here, but I just can’t hold it against him because I honestly can see everyday decent people acting in such a way too. That’s just my take on it.


Jeff Says:

Also, to me he used a recreational drug once when his life was in a tailspin and so he was just compounding his misery. Most people would just turn to booz in those situations. I know the rules are the rules, but since it wasn’t a performance enhancing drug like the ‘roids that Professional Baseball Players have done, it obviously didn’t help his game that year. Should he have been punished with the usual 3-month suspension that year? Yes he should have, but of course you have to question the ATP’s actions for simply throwing it out and not investigating it more…because perhaps they looked at it like they didn’t want to effect the game by doing something with one of their biggest stars. But again, I just personally can’t hold something like this against him as a fan of him and the sport because to me, it’s something I believe any decent person is capable of doing. Being human is to be flawed and being a celebrity doesn’t give you a pass on it, just makes you more magnified.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

This HAS to start the public questioning of what other superstars have had drug tests thrown out with a simple letter of excuse. We have seen several lower tiered players fail- has the ATP buried any failures by stars?
This throws an immense shadow over the drug-fighting efforts of the ATP.


Voicemale1 Says:

Jeff Says:

“No need to get personal here with your attacks on insecurities.”

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

I see. So you call me a “hater” and that’s not personal attack? Then add I’m a douchbag after chastising me there’s “no need to get personal”? Lemme just say outright here and now- you’re an idiot.

As for the rest of your ridiculous Kumbaya 2:42PM Post, this wasn’t a simple “mistake” by Agassi. He was fully aware what the consequences were once the ATP knew what he was doing. Lying was a calculus by him to save his ass, and more to the point, his money. That’s not a mistake. It’s a plan. There’s no innocence to anything he stated in this excerpt.

And I find it incredibly narrow minded of you to keep referring to the whole incident as if the only person involved, or have consequences, or even matters, is Agassi. This is pure willful “Love Is Blind” gobbledeygook. Proving you can’t be taken seriously :)


Blank Says:

He basically lied to make millions…now comes clean to make millions again (not sure if the book is gonna be as successful as his tennis career, but still…)


rcm Says:

I agree with those who point out that meth isn’t a performance-enhancing drug.
The rules against drug use don’t differentiate between “recreational” and performance-enhancing drug.
They don’t differentiate between a one-time experience and habitual use.

People DO understand the difference between making a stupid choice to use recreational drugs and deliberately using performance-enhancing drugs to gain an unfair advantage over your competitors.
Habitual use of recreational drugs will undermine any athlete sooner or later.

Stupid mistake and he lied about it.
It turns out that the people who accepted this as truth, based on his overall character, weren’t deceived in that respect.


Jeff Says:

Voicemale1, you have your point of view and I have mine. Don’t pretend to know me and say “love is blind”. My perspective is exactly what I’ve said. When I say I can’t fault a guy, any guy, who makes a big mistake like this because he is human, than that is what I mean. It’s not that I’m refusing to look at whatever big picture you’re trying to paint. I didn’t discount your point of view, just the way you delivered it. If you want to be a jerk about it, by all means go ahead. It doesn’t allow you to be taken any more seriously than me. Take it for what it’s worth. I have already said that we can agree to disagree and I’m going to take the high road and leave it at that.


socalrule Says:

I saw a headline that said Agassi in trouble– what trouble– he did meth 12 years ago……he mentions it to sell a book…..who cares? Now I gotta take some percodan and xanax with my scotch rocks…….and go to the green store…..and voicemale1, dude you need to take a chill pill!


Veno Says:

Hate to burst your bubble here Jeff, but you’re taking the easy road instead of the high road ;-)
The high road would have been not adding the sentence about the high road in your post imo :)

And second of all, do you know Agassi personally? If not, practice what you preach to Voicemale1 and don’t pretend that you know him(Agassi) What makes you think you can state an objectively meritable opinion like you did on the matter without looking at the big picture?


jane Says:

Voicemale1 – thanks for your response. You do make me think differently about this whole scenario in some regards.

Firsly, you say “But now that Agassi has decided to cash in on his “story”, Andre’s absolution seeking/cashing in on my tragedy has left the ATP standing there with its fly open. They’re gonna have to answer why they buried the Agassi Drug Test instead of turning it over to outside authorities. And why was Agassi spared any consequences, but Gasquet was thrown out by the ATP?”

Hmmm – do you really think the ATP will have to answer for this now, after all these years? Someone like might Gasquet might have a thing or two to say if he reads/hears about the book, but I doubt it. I think people will read it and move on. I’d be surprised if it’s infammatory in that I don’t think the ATP will suddenly be held accountable. HOWEVER, that said, they are “exposed” (i.e., left with their fly open, as you aptly put it) and hence it also raises the question, or certainly makes me wonder, about how many other occasions they’ve turned a blind eye on a difficult situation like this one.

Secondly, your post said, “You say it’s a good thing – but good for whom? Not real good for the ATP, is it? ”

I believe I already mentioned whom it may benefit, be it in a small way or larger way, and that is those to whom Andre donates his money (whether it’s a tax shelter is neither here nor there insofar as my point – that he’s still helping others, even if he helps himself/his bank account simultaneously); also those who may presently take drugs or may’ve taken drugs in the past or may want take drugs now could possibly learn from others who share their experience – especially, I suppose, if they admire him.

And I wonder – if we look at this from another perspective for a minute – whether this kind of “exposure” might, in the long run / the future, help the ATP, i.e., they won’t want to get caught with their fly open again. So will they be forced to rethink their actions? Doubtful, maybe, but a slim possibility anyhow.

In short, you have made me rethink my earlier post about the “good” aspects of “coming clean” though I still maintain there are a few possible redeeming aspects to the whole (now in my view quite sordid) fiasco.

Still like the title, for example. LOL.


i am it Says:

it is wrong. it is right. it matters. it does not matter.
Agassi should not have done it in the 1st place. Even if he had, he should have told the truth back then. there is plenty of room to criticize him here.

for whatever reasons, some may also think, No, he should not have told anything, even if he had done it.

he infuriated those who never liked him or liked him little less. they disliked him then and found one more occasion, after 12 years, to revisit.

imo, Agassi hardly disillusioned or disenchanted his fans who’ve always loved him. there is hardly any shock element here. rather, some may even feel, “is that the worst he has done in his life?”

most sympathizers may not condone his acts but try to understand the circumstances under which he did meth. it was 1997, the lowest point of his career and tough moment of his life. His wrist injury had resurfaced, and he barely played 24 matches that year. He did not win big titles, and his ranking sank to 141 in Nov. ’97. He was having tough time regarding his upcoming marriage with Brooke Shields, and a tabloid magazine The National Enquirer’s did some bad reporting, and they had to file a lawsuit later, etc. He did it more than once or a couple of times, but never got addicted. He did not take any advantage in matches that he played. The wrong thing he did was he evaded 3-month suspension by a lie. It was wrong, and he knew it. The guilt cannot have been sweet experience to carry all these years.

unlike some, i don’t think it is gonna affect directly and drastically anyone any more in one dimension.

the side effect could be both positive and negative: some may think it’s cool to try meth; others may think it is harmful to go near meth. and if you do it, tell the truth, or never reveal it in your life time.

in my reading (we differ here), intended effect: honesty, atonement, cathartic, apologetic, etc. He owed an apology to Slim, and it was long due: the letter was a lie. Now, Agassi rested his case. it is up to you to admire him or forgive/ forget or criticize him.

some less starry players who have been punished in the past may feel strongly about it and call it unfortunate and justice unserved. would they try to evade or have they tried to do the same? Absolutely, regardless of the outcome. take for example, Gasquet, who tried to evade by saying lips spiked with coke instead of soda spiked with meth.

as for the effect on ATP and other testing agencies, this revelation is likely to tighten the rope and prevent leniency in the future.

on Agassi, it must have been an emotional burden, so he must feel relieved that he vented it out, regardless of PR and other possible consequences.

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), an IOC operation, has stated it can do nothing and does not expect ATP/ ITF to punish Agassi retroactively. Wada’s director general says, “I mean, at the end of the day, Agassi has confessed. He obviously hasn’t been able to sleep in bed straight and he’s come out and made a confession and you have to applaud that to a degree.”
the point is retribution beyond the legal time limit will not be sought.


Mary Says:

The ITF oversees the testing now. They released a statement today.
You are suppose to get punished for missing three out of comp tests– but Wickmeyer missed three and might get off. She claimed she was logged onto the site at her home computer, so she could not tell them her whereabouts. Guess she forgot about the phone, fax, and email inventions.
Soderling missed a suprise test at this year’s french open because he forgot to tell officials he switched hotels.
Ivo Minar was just busted.
Nobody is making Montcourt’s final autopsy results public.
Santoro just wrote a book where he complains about doping.

Someone upthread mentioned Perry Rogers. In 08, Rogers was voted off the player’s council by the players and Agassi and him may wind up in court. Tennis Week mentioned that he may be writing a book, so Agassi’s srike may be pre-emptive.


i am it Says:

it is wrong. it is right. it matters. it does not matter.
Agassi should not have done it in the 1st place. Even if he had, he should have told the truth back then. there is plenty of room to criticize him here.

for whatever reasons, some may also think, No, he should not have told anything, even if he had done it.

he infuriated those who never liked him or liked him little less. they disliked him then and found one more occasion, after 12 years, to revisit.

imo, Agassi hardly disillusioned or disenchanted his fans who’ve always loved him. there is hardly any shock element here. rather, some may even feel, “is that the worst he has done in his life?”

most sympathizers may not condone his acts but try to understand the circumstances under which he did meth. it was 1997, the lowest point of his career and tough moment of his life. His wrist injury had resurfaced, and he barely played 24 matches that year. He did not win big titles, and his ranking sank to 141 in Nov. ‘97. He was having tough time regarding his upcoming marriage with Brooke Shields, and a tabloid magazine The National Enquirer’s did some bad reporting, and they had to file a lawsuit later, etc. He did it more than once or a couple of times, but never got addicted. He did not take any advantage in matches that he played. The wrong thing he did was he evaded 3-month suspension by a lie. It was wrong, and he knew it. The guilt cannot have been sweet experience to carry all these years.

unlike some, i don’t think it is gonna affect directly and drastically anyone any more in one dimension.

the side effect could be both positive and negative: some may think it’s cool to try meth; others may think it is harmful to go near meth. and if you do it, tell the truth, or never reveal it in your life time.

in my reading (we differ here), intended effect: honesty, atonement, cathartic, apologetic, etc. He owed an apology to Slim, and it was long due: the letter was a lie. Now, Agassi rested his case. it is up to you to admire him or forgive/ forget or criticize him.

some less starry players who have been punished in the past may feel strongly about it and call it unfortunate and justice unserved. would they try to evade or have they tried to do the same? Absolutely, regardless of the outcome. take for example, Gasquet, who tried to evade by saying lips spiked with coke instead of soda spiked with meth.

as for the effect on ATP and other testing agencies, this revelation is likely to tighten the rope and prevent leniency in the future.

on Agassi, it must have been an emotional burden, so he must feel relieved that he vented it out, regardless of PR and other possible consequences.

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), an IOC operation, has stated it can do nothing and does not expect ATP/ ITF to punish Agassi retroactively. Wada’s director general says, “I mean, at the end of the day, Agassi has confessed. He obviously hasn’t been able to sleep in bed straight and he’s come out and made a confession and you have to applaud that to a degree.”
the point is retribution beyond the legal time limit will not be sought.


Mary Says:

“it was 1997, the lowest point of his career and tough moment of his life.”
Meth can do that to you.

Seriously crystal meth?! What next, 1997 tape of Sampras on cctv passed out cold outside the local bodega after drinking copious amounts of Colt-45?!


Eric Says:

I’m sure Mariano Puerta will be thrilled to read this…


Voicemale1 Says:

jane Says:

“Hmmm – do you really think the ATP will have to answer for this now, after all these years? Someone like might Gasquet might have a thing or two to say if he reads/hears about the book, but I doubt it. I think people will read it and move on. ”

– – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – – - – - -

Jim Fahey of WADA today has publicly called on the ATP to explain itself as to why they allowed this to happen. I’m sure he won’t be alone. A lot of ATP Officials are gonna start getting a lot of questions from press everywhere. And I’m sure more then a few players will want to ask a few questions too. So no, I think they’re gonna have a lot of explaining to do. Maybe a lot of it won’t be made public, but I think a lot of people will have questions for them. As they should.


i am it Says:

mary, just to point out, you are reversing the whole thing. according to AA, meth was not the cause of his low. it was the low that led to meth.

in my own case, it only has produced high, not low, Lol.
——————–
for fun, in a diff. context, the alter state has produced some good works, too, esp. in artistic areas like music, fine art, literature, etc.
Aside from the movements like Free Jazz, Psychedelic music, esp. Acid Rock, Art Nouveau, Victoriana, Dada, and Pop Artto, Cubism, Surrealism, Beat, Magical Realism, Theatre of Absurd and Theatre of Cruelty, to cite a few, some/all of the works by painters Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, poets Thomas De Quincey, Jean Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, novelists Alfred Jarry, Aldous Huxley, playwright Antonin Artaud, Remedios Varo, André Masson, painter/sculptor Max Ernst, Henri Michaux, novelists Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Philip K. Dick, Tom Wolfe, etc. are produced by the alter state. you can add hundreds of musicians, painters, sculptors, and writers to my midget list.


Mary Says:

Jane: You have one of the top stars writing the ATP let him off because he was a top player. It’s possible he is only confessing to this one time. If he was allowed to get away with it once, why not during all of those months long breaks he would take. Seeing the testing did not switch over until 06. Think of all the top players during those eras.

It could be like baseball– ARod just struck out, go Phillies– where people just start talking. It could be the thing ex-tennis officials use to clear their names.

I wonder if Agassi is suprised most of the talk surrounds, not his drug use, but the covered-up test. He may get himself blackballed from the tennisworld.


Mary Says:

“the alter state has produced some good works, too, esp. in artistic areas like music, fine art, literature, etc.”

And screwing Brooke Shields was raised to an art form.


sensationalsafin Says:

McEnroe admitted he smoked weed in his book, and other players like Vitas Gerulaitis did coke. What’s the big deal? It’s not the end of the world.


jane Says:

Mary, no way; can’t see Agassi being “blackballed”. But maybe a few are irked, especially, if as Voicemale1 points out, questions are being raised because of Agassi’s confession.

I am still inclined to think it’ll blow over, but on the other hand it may’ve stirred up more controversy than Agassi intended? Or maybe not. I guess if someone decided to write an autobiography they have to be candid /honest, unless they want a “public” version or politically correct version of their life read, or unless they are making it up, like that guy who wrote “Million little pieces”.

i am it – really loved your post at 7:55 – you catch a lot of the nuances, as you always do. Plus you’re right; it’s out there now, and people will make what they want out of it.


i am it Says:

J., thanks for the link. now i am inclined to raise this question, are we doing justice to the work itself if we reduce the autobiography to a small section of his meth revelation?

more than anything else, it is an autobiography, a work of art belonging to a literary genre of its own kind and should be evaluated as such.

and you put it nicely, “I guess if someone decided to write an autobiography they have to be candid /honest, unless they want a ‘public’ version or politically correct version of their life read, or unless they are making it up, like that guy who wrote ‘Million little pieces’.”

to me, the rest, including the controversy it generated and ITF/ATP’s future handling of doping cases, etc., is mere side effect, outside literary value of the work itself. The significance of the autobiography, a work of art, lies in its honesty, style, coverage, selections of events, focal points, highlights, elaboration, cohesion, conclusion, and how it is narrated, etc.


Voicemale1 Says:

sensationalsafin Says:
“McEnroe admitted he smoked weed in his book, and other players like Vitas Gerulaitis did coke. What’s the big deal? It’s not the end of the world.”

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

Was McEnroe notified by the ATP he failed a drug test? I doubt in the Gerulaitis days such testing procedures even existed. The point with Agassi isn’t what he used, tried or didnt’ try. The point is he was notified by the ATP they new what he was doing, and they were bound to take action against him because of it. In an excerpt posted again today form the book he himself called this a “habit”. The 1997 event of the ATP notifying him was the end of his Meth use, not the beginning. The overall point is the ATP knew it, and they were the ones publicly claiming these procedures were in place to “preserve the integrity of the game” and stop such things s this. Otherwise – why test them to begin with? Then they take the test result they got, and bury it away taking no action. They made the decision right then: their rule will apply to some players, but obviously not all players. And notice the Agassi response – he never denied what the ATP said they found, which a lot of people would do. They’d make the ATP prove their charge. He just said he internalized Meth unwittingly, blaming his pusher.

This is about the ATP protecting him from the consequences of the rule they put in place to catch people like him. This is the ATP doing what they did because of his celebrity status, fame, wealth, and the fact his life long “friend” Perry Rogers was sitting on the ATP Board at the time. This is all about the privileges accorded the privileged. That’s why it’s a big deal.


sensationalsafin Says:

I’m not seeing how that makes it a big deal. So the ATP wanted to save its own ass, as well, so? I’d ask if you could blame them but clearly you can. Considering this happened 12 years ago, what does it matter if it was wrong? Agassi AND the ATP are both at fault, but considering what Agassi has meant to tennis, I think they did what was best. Agassi has been the face of tennis for 20 years. Think about how different things would be if they had banned him. For Agassi it was probably about the money, but think about how much money the endorsing companies made thanks to Agassi.


Voicemale1 Says:

SS:

Then why test anyone at all? Let’s just do away with it period.


Andrew Miller Says:

How about: the ATP now punishes because it has better leadership? Every player caught in recent memory has served some kind of sentance, small or large (disputed or not). Gasquet may have gotten a drastically reduced/thrown out charge but he still got charged publicly.

As for Agassi – yes, big props that he came out and told the story. Big “cop out” that he did not do so in 1997. He screwed up then, he says so now, and I am sure he will put a lot of $$$ back into the school his foundation runs. Sure, I understand WHY he did it – but he did not go through the same circuit as Capriati. So in other words, he did not bear the full brunt of public humiliation, only the private consequences, reaping some public benefits.

The drug use does raise some questions about the athletic performance – how far back does it go, what results did it affect, etc – what’s the impact on the scoreboard, if it denied an opponent a victory (possible?) What other drugs factor into the mix (some drugs can provide extra energy etc – especially in an era when many players were relatively less fit than now [Brad Gilbert or Jay Berger would never fit into today's top 10 - Davydenko is today's version of Gilbert and he is top to bottom a superior player]).

As for his life today, honestly he’s moved on – he is all about his new life’s work. I think he’s one of the best players since 1990, certainly someone who energized the game after the spoiled brats of the John McEnroe era, and gave more options when Lendl etc were still in contention for big titles.


Andrew Miller Says:

But it does raise questions about results, and in tennis, as we all know, the results mean a lot (unless you are Kournikova)


Andrew Miller Says:

I am a huge Agassi fan. But I cant look past the scoreboard: if there are victories where opponents were denied championships because of Agassi’s drug use, that’s not right.


Mary Says:

The bottom line is you cannot call any player clean thanks to the actions of the players and the atp.
Up until 24 hours ago, it was the constant “no, officals would never lie or hide a positive. or “show me a positive test.” Well, they managed to hide Agassi’s test and it means nothing to test positive.

“As for his life today, honestly he’s moved on – he is all about his new life’s work”

Who knows? I just don’t buy Agassi throwing everyone under the bus just to sell books or some soul cleansing. There’s more to the story. He sank the credibility of the sport.


ginger Says:

Who knows? I just don’t buy Agassi throwing everyone under the bus just to sell books or some soul cleansing. There’s more to the story. He sank the credibility of the sport.
==============================================

I was listening to the radio yesterday and they were talking about one extract where Agassi says that he hated tennis and always has.

Guy who hates the sport isn’t going to care much about saving the credibility of it. Also this stuff about that Perry guy – I’m guessing he knows where the bodies are buried. So Agassi could be doing this to cover his own ass, and get it out there before whatever it is that Perry knows comes out.


PJ Says:

sensationalsafin Says:

I’m not seeing how that makes it a big deal. So the ATP wanted to save its own ass, as well, so? I’d ask if you could blame them but clearly you can. Considering this happened 12 years ago, what does it matter if it was wrong? Agassi AND the ATP are both at fault, but considering what Agassi has meant to tennis, I think they did what was best. Agassi has been the face of tennis for 20 years. Think about how different things would be if they had banned him. For Agassi it was probably about the money, but think about how much money the endorsing companies made thanks to Agassi.

I don’t want to come off as overly critical, but saying they did what was best because it protects the athlete is exactly what is becoming so wrong about sports today. People are willing to let things slide because of someone fame and earning potential, while if it was someone of a lesser stature, punishment would probably have happened. I’m not trying to condemn Agassi as a person. It’s not that drug use is something commendable, but it’s also not as if he became an addict. He did it, that’s not the real big deal. I personally think it’s irresponsible to say that something like taking drugs and then lying about how they got into your system specifically to avoid punishment is good because the person involved has some high level of fame.

I’m thinking about an article I just read on a Dutch gymnast. He’s the most successful gymnast in Dutch history. He tested positive for cocaine (not a performing-enhancing drug). He was suspended for a year. More so, there is a rule in gymnastics that if you’re suspended for more than 6 months, you are not eligible for the next Olympics, which in this case, is considered the pinnacle of the sport.

I am also certainly not putting the blame only on Agassi. The ATP messed up big time. They probably could’ve gotten away with letting Agassi slide if they just made it known. I know there are a lot of people who think the Gasquet story is ridiculous. He’s still playing, though, but what happened is out there.

Both sides are wrong. Does it make Andre a horrendous human being? Absolutely not. But I don’t think you can say it’s all fine because he’s Andre Agassi.


Voicemale1 Says:

sensationalsafin Says:
“Considering this happened 12 years ago, what does it matter if it was wrong?” – Taking this to the limit, thenwhy didn’t Agassi tell everybody when it happened then if you think it’s no big deal? And considering he was admittedly at this habit for a while it’s fairly likely he was buying the Meth he was using (Drug Dealers are NOT charitable people – they look for cash rich clients like Agassi). That’s a felony, in case you need to know. See how that makes it “wrong’?

“Agassi AND the ATP are both at fault, but considering what Agassi has meant to tennis,I think they did what was best.” – First, at the time the ATP found out Agassi was #141 in the world and had one foot out the door of tennis & a career in the toilet. He was nowhere near the status he was after he worked to get back to #1. And second, are you saying some arbitrary assessment, such as what someone “meant to tennis”, is the consideration whether to take action against them? If so, who ultimately decides how much someone “means to tennis” enough so they are above reproach? So you’re saying then it’s OK that Agassi gets a pass because you say he “meant” so much to tennis, but Gasquet didn’t mean quite as much to tennis so it’s OK to kick him out of the game. You go sell that idea to the players and lemme know how you make out.

“Agassi has been the face of tennis for 20 years.” – So what? This is more selling this idea of an Aristocracy Above Reproach.

“Think about how different things would be if they had banned him.” – What the hell is this supposed to mean? Agassi is somehow “above” the game that IT can’t do without him? Well how in the hell is the game surviving now if he’s so important? Geez, you’d think he WAS tennis and we could never have it again without him because the whole system would collapse!!

“For Agassi it was probably about the money, but think about how much money the endorsing companies made thanks to Agassi.” – Valid point to this extent – if Agassi in his book admits, or if it’s later discovered (i.e., if “Slim” pops up from somewhere and admits Agassi bought all his Meth from him), a lot of his sponsors would have dumped him and found a lot of other celebrities to build a campaign around. Sponsors aren’t too keen on sponsoring people who openly break the law. Looks bad for what they’re trying to sell.


sensationalsafin Says:

PJ, I have to agree with everything you said.

Mary, he didn’t sink the credibility of the sport. He hurt the ATP’s name, but the ATP is an organization, it’s not tennis itself.

Andrew, if the drug did anything to the scoreboard it’s give victories to lesser players Agassi would’ve otherwise beaten. Agassi’s results drastically suffered when he was using crystal meth, so it’s not like he suddenly became number 1 by cheating with drugs.


Mary Says:

SS: The ATP is the player’s union made up of the players and officials.

Ginger: I’m waiting for “Slim”‘s interview and Perry’s to go public. There’s some interesting things about him on this site.


sensationalsafin Says:

Mary, like I said, it’s an organization, it’s not tennis the sport.

Voicemale1, felony shmelony. You can argue it was wrong all you want, and 99.9% of people will agree with you, including Agassi, but what’s done is done. By different I mean Agassi’s career and even Sampras’s career. Who would snap Sampras’s number 1 streak? Who would Sampras beat for his last slam? These are things that define the sport’s history. Sure it wouldn’t matter if it was someone else, but when you just look at tennis, it’s pretty cool that it was Agassi in those situations. Lots of things are felonies. So I ask, what’s the big deal?


Gordo Says:

Hmmmn – being as I am reading all these recent interviews where Agassi is touting Any Murray as the next king of tennis, I am wondering if he hasn’t be hooking up with Slim again recently. lol


sensationalsafin Says:

Gordo, LMAO!! That’s hilarious. Yeah, Murray’s going nowhere.


Voicemale1 Says:

sensationalsafin:

Your 11;13 AM post is just drivel. Immature drivel. You ask – “Lots of things are felonies. So again I ask what’s the big deal?” Sounds like you either want to say who is or isn’t above the law, or laws as such don’t matter so no one should abide by them anyway.

Your hero worship of what you see as ‘tennis history” doesn’t make anyone beyond the rules. You’re making the de facto claim they are. You seem to be saying, “Hey..the tennis press/media keeps celebrating players who do a lot of ‘pretty cool’ stuff on the court, so no matter what these celebrated players do it doesn’t matter. Let them buy narcotics, steal, whatever they want. The rules other players have to live with shouldn’t aplly to these Aristocratic PLayers that media keeps celebrating. As long as they entertain ME everything is A-OK”. But I guess you still don’t answer what I said before. To you, your hero worship of Agassi’s place in tennis excuses him, but Gasquet gets the boot for cocaine and you are OK with that. You’re in favor of a double-standard that applies to those you choose to excuse.

That’s nuts.


sensationalsafin Says:

Roddick tweeted that many people believed Agassi was on his way out of the sport. So maybe the reason the ATP dropped the case was because they didn’t care enough to really trouble Agassi and that since he was once regarded as a top player, they didn’t want people to see that top athletes in their sport go down dark roads that ruin their careers.


sensationalsafin Says:

Hey I’m a big fan of Gasquet. When Agassi got caught, he turned his life and career around. Maybe this little fiasco will help Gasquet do the same. I’m not going by a double standard, if anything the Agassi case helped strenghthen the ATP’s resolve against substance abuse. That’s why Gasquet was caught and immediately suspended. But in all seriousness, Agassi’s lie seems a lot more plausible than Gasquet’s recent appeal. I don’t care if he’s lying because I want him to stay on tour. No double standard there, I still don’t care about his felony shmelony because he entertains me. But I hope Gasquet atleast picks up his tennis somewhat, Agassi made great leaps.


blah Says:

^This. Yes I am biased because I liked Agassi on court and even more off court with what he was able to do with his life. I don’t think what happened in the second half of his career was all a deliberately constructed image. And Gasquet is my favorite player on tour, and I hope he resurfaces and does something with his talent. Yes, this is a biased post. Maybe I’ll focus and weigh in on this subject later from a less biased angle, but honestly, if I had to trust a public figure, it would be Agassi. That is not to say he is a saint and has nothing but pure, good intentions all the time, but still.


margot Says:

I like Agassi too, but if you want to confess find a priest. Also, I feel telling the lie is worse than taking the drug. A bit like Clinton really…


george Says:

SAD!SAD!SAD!!!!


james Says:

Who gives a rats ass if Agassi used meth. How many here have NEVER used a “recreational drug” besides alcohol. I am old enough to know that in my cohort of university buddies, the percentage of recreational users was damn close to 100%.

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