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Upcoming Andre Agassi memoir reveals drug use

October 28, 2009 |  8:21 am

Andreagassi

In his upcoming memoir, tennis star Andre Agassi admits that in 1997 he used the recreational drug crystal meth -- or "gack," as his assistant, referred to only as Slim, called it. The book "Open: An Autobiography" will be in stores in November, but is being serialized by the Times of London beginning Thursday. And they ran this excerpt today:

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...

Later, Agassi tested positive for the drug. It would mean a public suspension, and he feared, a lot more.

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.

While the admission now may get him in hot water with some sports officials, it certainly can't hurt his book sales. How many people knew the 1992 Wimbledon champion had a memoir coming out? Now, we all do.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Andre Agassi at a 2007 press conference. Credit: Ian Salas / EPA

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