Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 12:26 PM
Source: ABC News
Former world number one tennis player Andre Agassi has confessed to using crystal methamphetamine during his career and lying to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) after testing positive.
Agassi's revelation features in his tell-all autobiography Open, which is set to be serialised in The Times.
The American recounts in the book the day he experimented with the drug in 1997 with an assistant, who he identifies only as 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 writes.
"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."
The now 39-year-old goes on to say he received a call from an ATP doctor informing him he had failed a drugs test and under the game's laws for recreational drug use Agassi could be facing a three-month suspension.
Agassi then admits to fabricating a story to the ATP in which he said he accidentally drank from one of his assistant's drinks spiked with the drug.
"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."
Possession of crystal meth carries a five-year jail sentence in the US.
Agassi, who retired from tennis in 2006, won eight grand slams during his illustrious career including four Australian Opens and gold in the men's singles at the Atlanta Olympics.
People magazine's website reports Agassi says in his book he is not worried about the impact of his admissions on his fans.
"I was worried for a moment, but not for long," he is quoted as writing.
"I wore my heart on my sleeve and my emotions were always written on my face. I was actually excited about telling the world the whole story."