Agassi asks for understanding
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:55
The American confessed to using the drug in 1997, a year in which he slumped to 141st in the world rankings. He then lied to ATP officials and escaped punishment. Agassi has given an interview to American television station CBS – due to be aired on Sunday – but in excerpts released on Friday he asked for understanding.
“I would hope with that would come some compassion that maybe this person doesn’t need condemnation. Maybe this person could stand a little help,” he said. “Because that was at a time in my life when I needed help.”
He added: “I had a problem and there might be many other athletes out there that test positive for recreational drugs that have a problem. So I would ask for some compassion.”
Agassi first made the revelations in his book, Open, which will be published next week.
And he accepts his honesty may tarnish people’s opinions of what was a glittering career. He won eight grand slam events and also topped the world rankings.
“I don’t know what the ramifications are,” Agassi said. “I had way more to lose by telling this story in its full transparency than I had to gain.
“The price that that comes with is the cost that I’ve assumed and I’m okay because the part that I worry and think more about is who this may help.”