The temptation of drugs does not forgive, not even on former ATP world leader, Andre Agassi, one of the most respected players in tennis history.
Although he practiced the “white sport”, the American did not use cocaine but methamphetamine, a drug that causes psihostimulent state of euphoria, compulsive fascination and excitement. Steffi Graf’s husband confesses this in his new autobiographical book, “Open”, in which he tells how it all began.
“Slim is stressed, too . . . He says, You want to get high with me? On what? Gack. What the hell’s gack? Crystal meth,” Agassi writes in “Open: An Autobiography.” “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.”
Later, Agassi is told by the Association of Tennis Professionals that he failed a drug exam.
“My name, my career, everything is now on the line,” Agassi writes.
“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,” he says.
“I feel ashamed, of course. I promise myself that this lie is the end of it.”