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.
Well … OK.