Andre Agassi greets the crowd while being honored during the "Evening with Legends" at the opening night festivities of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Monday, Aug. 31, 2009.
From the "bombshell" tell-all, which doesn't come as much of a surprise to me as it seems to have for others.
Agassi learns that he has failed a drugs test. "He reminds me that tennis has three classes of drug violation," Agassi writes. "Performance-enhancing drugs ... would constitute a Class 1, he says, which would carry a suspension of two years. However, he adds, crystal meth would seem to be a clear case of Class 2. Recreational drugs." That would mean a three-month suspension.
"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 the case - and threw it out.
But wait. There's more.
Moreover, in ’97 (when he began his infamous “comeback” late in the fall), he tested positive at a tournament and says he was informed by the ATP that he faced public exposure and suspension.
He writes that his friend Slim dumped “a small pile of powder on the coffee table [and] 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 I’ve ever had. It’s a cortisone shot to the sub cortex. I’ve never felt so alive, so hopeful…I’ve never felt such energy. I’m seized by an urge, a desperate longing to clean. I go tearing around my house, cleaning it from top to bottom…When there’s nothing left to clean, I do laundry. All the laundry. I fold every sweater and T-shirt and still I haven’t made a dent in my energy…I could do anything right now, anything, man, anything …I could get in the car and drive to Palm Springs and tee off for 18 holes, then drive home and make lunch and go for a swim. I don’t sleep for two days. When I finally do, it’s the sleep of the dead and the innocent.”
Then Agassi wrote a letter to the ATP claiming that he had mistakenly drunk one of Slim’s sodas that had been spiked with meth.
The ATP accepted Agassi’s plea of innocence, never asking for evidence nor apparently even questioning him or Slim.
Emphasis all mine.
Wasn't Agassi taking cortisone shots on a regular basis at the end of his competitive playing days?
Crystal meth is not a recreational drug. Anyone who has used it, even once, will tell you as much. St. Andre cheated and lied and got away with it.
So. The next time I tell you that a governing body of our beloved sport would cover up a failed doping test in order to protect a star and a sport, you may or may not believe me. But you sure can't say it's some crazy conspiracy theory. And if you think the tennis media didn't play a part in the cover up, think again.
How many other players got off without having their reputations tarnished, but more importantly, their earnings revoked?
I guess we'll have to wait for
The stuff that makes my stomach turn.
WADA wants answers:
LONDON — The president of the World Anti-Doping Agency wants tennis authorities to "shed light" on Andre Agassi's admission that he used a banned drug and escaped a suspension by blaming his positive test on a spiked drink.
On Wednesday, WADA president John Fahey says he is disappointed by the revelations in Agassi's upcoming autobiography. He says Agassi is a role model who should alert youth to the dangers of doping.
Agassi admits in the book that he used crystal meth in 1997. He says he lied to ATP Tour officials to explain his positive test, claiming he accidentally drank from a soda spiked with meth.
Agassi writes that the ATP accepted his explanation and dropped the case.
Fahey says WADA expects the ATP "to shed light on this allegation."
Let's see how much light is shed.
I say none.
Meanwhile, Agassi is paid and the publisher wants that $5 million advance back. Stat.