Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

So many whys in Agassi affair

October 29, 2009

“I was worried for a moment but not for long. I was actually excited about telling the world the whole story,” Andre Agassi said.

Except this was no ordinary story. One of the greatest players to have graced a tennis court had just revealed that he had taken drugs and then lied to the ATP about the circumstances surrounding his positive dope test in 1997.

The eight-times grand slam champion took the recreational drug crystal meth 12 years ago when his career was floundering – he found himself playing on the challenger circuit after sliding down the rankings to 141st in the world.

Although the substance may not be performance enhancing, the question on every tennis fan’s lips since the news broke is “Why?”

Why did Agassi take it? Why did the governing body of tennis clear him of any wrongdoing? And why did he disclose this bombshell now when he had effectively got away with it?

It is hard to believe that a popular sportsman who made over $31 million in prize money and several times that amount in endorsement deals would want to drag his own name through the mud just to get some publicity for his autobiography.

But that is effectively what he has done.

“His book will probably sell. It seems very interesting, to say the least,” fellow American Venus Williams said.

Unfortunately he has also left the ATP in a difficult position, even if it was an independent tribunal which cleared him of any wrongdoing in 1997.

Officials who investigated his failed dope test believed his letter of explanation, which Agassi now says “was full of lies, interwoven with the truth”.

For a man who once graced television screens with the catchphrase “Image is Everything”, he might find that he has now done irreparable damage to his own reputation.

PHOTO: Former champion Andre Agassi salutes the crowd during the opening ceremony at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, August 31, 2009. REUTERS/Shaun Best

Comments

I think Andre has armored himself with great amount of courage to be able to come out with such a hidden secret..
He might pay a price on the reputation side but otherwise I think real fans will always mark him as one of the greatest in Tennis & THE fan favourite..

Posted by mohamed zayed | Report as abusive
 

All of us has done something we are ashamed of. Andre is no different then any of us. He was a great player and is a great person doing things with his Charter School that the govt could learn from.

Posted by Barbara Warren | Report as abusive
 

I do not agree with Andre,
But we must don our cup to the man telling the truth. If one questions his motives and attitude for reveling his weakness to taking “Ice”, people such as him, who are famous in sport or any together area of discipline in life will not be encouraged to tell the truth.
That is why we must commend him for telling the truth, even after so many years and not while plating the game of tennis, even though his act was both principally and ethically incorrect. This is very important to understand and accept.
Yours Faithfully,
R. K. Somasunderam.

Posted by Muralidaran Ramesh Somassunderam | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

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/
  •