Andre Agassi – Major winner, US hero…drug cheat.

Posted: October 28, 2009 in Sport
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s amazing how the mighty can fall so quickly. Andre Agassi published his autobiography today, which revealed how he lied to get out of a drugs ban. Agassi tested positive in 1997 but managed to convince the ATP that he had not done so knowingly, blaming it on his former assistant who was a known user of crystal meth. At the time Agassi was suffering his worst year as a professional tennis player, with his ranking dropping down to 141 at one point. He has confirmed the details of the letter he wrote to the ATP professing his innocence.

“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.”

Agassi is considered a massive hero amongst American tennis players and fans, and a big role model in encouraging youngsters into the game. What was the point of this revelation? Why make it now, at a time when another young tennis player was recently tested for drugs and failed? Richard Gasquet claimed that the cocaine in his system got there accidentally, but now that Agassi has made these revelations can we accept that in the future as a defence? In Gasquet’s case, medical evidence seemed to back up his claim that he hadn’t taken cocaine knowingly, because the amount found in his system was small enough to suggest it could have been accidental, through contact with a person that had recently taken the drug.

So what happens now? No action can be taken against Agassi as the ATP dropped its case against him, but something must happen. Agassi must not be allowed to go unpunished for his actions, and all the world doping agencies will need to review cases to see if those that had claimed innocence were truthful or whether they too were lies. I do feel a little upset about it as Agassi was one of the reasons I started watching tennis as a kid and to know your hero wasn’t squeaky-clean after all is not a nice feeling. The ATP must come under tough scrutiny as well, as even with a positive test Agassi should have received a suspension, whether he was taking drugs knowingly or not. The fact that it didn’t even come into the public knowledge suggests that they were willing to help cover up as Agassi was a major figurehead in tennis and any ban could have been very bad publicity. the only reason Agassi is mentioning this now is because it will sell copies of his book. He can live off the receipts from that, and work as a speaker on the after-dinner circuits, but whether he will work in tennis again? I’m not sure anyone would have him, given the way Dwain Chambers has been treated since his punishment for doping ended. The difference between Agassi and Chambers though, is that Chambers admitted his offence without fight. Agassi went to the trouble of telling a pretty major lie to cover up his drug use. For that, I respect Dwain Chambers a hell of a lot more than Andre Agassi right now. You should have kept it quiet, Andre. For the sake of tennis.

  1. Shivanand says:

    I’m not defending Andre’s actions, but I couldn’t tolerate the unfair comparison with Dwain Chambers, the lack of understanding of the context of Andre’s disclosure of drug use.

    1. Andre took crystal meth. By all accounts, it is NOT a performance enhancing drug.

    2. he is worth a lot more than 100 mil. anything that he would gain by selling this book wouldn’t be worth the humiliation that he would go thru.

    3. Did you read the book?! He hated his life in tennis, coz it wasn’t something he chose. I doubt he wants to come back and work.

    • cyrus says:

      Dear Shivanand. Agassi claims to be a good christian. He even met the pope. He needed and still needs to clean up his sins. He confessed because it is a way of repenting and being relaxed for the rest of his life.
      It doesn’t take away the fact that this lie probably hides others. With his behaviour he prevented bettter players who loved the game and were honest to have a lesser records (Sampras, Becker, Edberg and even Agassi, whomhe used to regularly beat at the beginning). He has little talent and he hated tennis. He should have left this for the better than him.
      Gasquet, Armstrong, Chambers, Ben Johnson, Marion Jones, Corria, Cañas, etc… all payed for their bad behaviour, why not that fuc king ugly faked smiling bastard? He is a disgrace of the sports. And shame on him to be worth 100 M. while other honest players struggle to get by. How stupid of you to defend him.

  2. cyrus says:

    I said and even agassi, I meant Federer.
    Just another word. Even Conors once said that agassi isn’t as big as the greats like Borg, Vilas, Sampras etc…He probably felt that this fuc ker is a black sheep. Disgrace for his Ashuri genes. He should pay as Armstrong did.

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