29 Oct Andre Agassi Admits Using Crystal Meth
Tennis superstar Andre Agassi reveals in his new autobiography that he used crystal meth while playing professional tennis in 1997, and then lied about it to officials after testing positive for drugs.
Agassi, 39, says he hit rock bottom in his career due to a wrist injury that year—and was having serious doubts about his upcoming marriage to actress Brooke Shields—when his assistant, “Slim,” offered him the drug, according to an excerpt in The Times of London.
“Slim is stressed, too…He says, You want to get high with me? On what? Gack. What the hell’s gack? Crystal meth,” Agassi writes in “Open: An Autobiography.” “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,” he writes.
“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,” he continues.
“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.”
Later, Agassi was told by the Association of Tennis Professionals that he failed a drug exam.
“My name, my career, everything is now on the line,” Agassi writes. “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,” he says.
“I feel ashamed, of course. I promise myself that this lie is the end of it.”
The ATP never pursued the matter further.
In a story on People.com, Agassi says, “I can’t speak to addiction, but a lot of people would say that if you’re using anything as an escape, you have a problem.”
Asked how he thought his fans would react if they found out he was using drugs, Agassi says: “I was worried for a moment, but not for long…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.”
Agassi ended up divorcing Shields and marrying fellow tennis star Steffi Graf, to whom he is still happily married.
Drug addiction is a progressive and deadly disease.
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