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Crystal Meth Made Me Clean My House, Says Agassi

Posted by gauloises1 on October 28, 2009

Well, well. In his forthcoming autobiography Open, which is being serialised in The Times, Andre Agassi admits he tried crystal meth in 1997, during the breakdown of his marriage to Brooke Shields, tested positive – and then lied to the ATP.

In his book, Agassi recounts sitting at home with his assistant, referred to only as Slim, and being introduced to the drug. “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.”

In the autumn of a year in which he pulled out of the French Open and did not bother to practise for Wimbledon, Agassi is walking through New York’s LaGuardia airport when he gets a phone call from a doctor working with the ATP.

“There is doom in his voice, as if he’s going to tell me I’m dying,” Agassi writes. “And that’s exactly what he tells me.”

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.

agassi brooke shields 1997

Well … OK.

17 Responses to “Crystal Meth Made Me Clean My House, Says Agassi”

  1. Saoirse said

    Crystal meth!?! Well that would certainly explain the extreme tackiness of that picture – and his ranking (141 is memory serves) at the time…
    And is that Cowboy Andre’s foot that I see rubbing against Country Barbie Brooke’s crotch?
    Insert your own ‘smack the pony’ joke here.

  2. AmyLu said

    To be honest, I’m surprised he tried a drug like crystal meth for the first time in 1997 (although seeing how this is only an excerpt, he very well may disclose other types of drug use before then) — and I love how apparently a hand-written letter leads to throwing the case out?

  3. naughty T... death of a cabbage patch said

    pants on fire!!!

  4. irefusetotellyou said

    Whoa, that was a bit more graphic than I’d assumed.


  5. lauren said

    We’ve grown so used to the ‘Saint Andre’ image we forget he was once supposed to epitomise rebellion. I’m actually both relieved and comforted when ‘heroes’ reveal they are prone to doubt, weakness and despair like the rest of us.
    I do feel strange about the idea of someone spending decades in a career they hate, because of fear of a violent parent, and ending up being held as an example of a tennis god. All those accolades, all those tributes, and all the time he hated the game? Poor messed up mind. It’s enough to turn you to drugs.

  6. C. F. said

    Well, the thing is, in those Brooke-Shields-plus-terrible-wardrobe-choices days, even when he was sober (and I’m assuming that was most of the time), he looked like he was on drugs. The picture proves it 😉

  7. Daniel said

    I got sick from reading this, all my suspicions about drug testing in the ATP turn out to be right. They will never let one of the stars of their game get called out for doping, specially if that player is from an important country.

  8. naughty T said

    umm this was before WADA and a drug that would, if anything, hinder his performance. Get a grip people. sheesh.

  9. chris s said

    how to overcome meth withdrawal and addiction.

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