Should Agassi face action for drugs confession?

October 28, 2009

rtxpzkf2agassi

Eight-times grand slam winner Andre Agassi left the tennis world in a state of shock on Wednesday when he admitted using the recreational drug crystal meth and lying to men’s governing body the ATP to escape a ban.

In his autobiography “Open”, the American candidly describes being introduced to the drug in 1997 and the moment when he was informed he had failed a drugs test.

International Tennis Federation (ITF) president Francesco Ricci Bitti said he was “surprised and disappointed” by the revelations and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chief John Fahey called on the ATP to “shed light” on the circumstances that allowed Agassi to escape sanction.

Should there be any punishment against the retired 39-year-old?

PHOTO: Andre Agassi of the U.S. looks on during an exhibition tennis match against compatriot Pete Sampras at Venetian Macao in Macau October 25, 2009. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

5 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

I am an avid tennis player and have been following tennis since the mid-80’s. Fact is, until 1999, the ITF and ATP tour didn’t have a strict drug policy. So, players could simply partake in illicit activities and then if caught, could concoct a story like Agassi did, stating that he accidentally took a sip of his friends soda that had Meth in it. Fact is further, that ALL players could get away with this at the time. So, you know what this means….many of the players were definitely living the “high life” during their down times out on the town, with friends, parties, etc. So, if you go after Agassi, you’d certainly have to go after other players, which would be impossible. I’m pretty sure that a statue of limitations certainly would apply to Agassi here, after more than 10 years beyond the incident.

My opinion is that he was just having fun, needed a quick hitter, and ripped up a couple rails and had a great time. So WHAT! People should be able to have a good time away from whatever their profession is. I’m glad he had fun and was tearing up rails when he needed a nice little break from his downward career and his tough relationship (breaking up with Brooke at the time).

You go Andre!

Posted by Brian | Report as abusive

I honestly do not think Andre should be punished. I think he should rather be commended for coming out with the truth. The Tennis authorities on the other hand should take this as lesson learnt and be guided in future legislation.

On the other hand if it is found out that Andre told this story only to sell his book and profit through deceit then obviously he should sanction by paying a huge fine that should hit his pocket big time. But can this be proved? What other sanction can impact a retired tennis player?

Posted by Francis | Report as abusive

I was just posing the question myself. I’m not sure if the authorities can do anything with a retired player A fine, ban him from commentating at the tournaments? Maybe not

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

If Agassi is trying to use a scandal to sell more books, I think it might backfire on him

Posted by Greg Delaney | Report as abusive

I though Andre used a recreational drug, not a performance enhancing one. I don’t see any point in punishing him. Anyway, punishing him now does not make sense. If the doping authority deems this illegal, then he should have been caught during the tournament itself. It’s a mistake on part of the authorities. The world knows Andre has been a gentleman and a sincere player.

Posted by Harish | Report as abusive

[…] ┬áBlog archive – Should Agassi be punished over drug use? […]

Posted by Agassi legend lives on « Peterlennox’s Blog | Report as abusive