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'Agassi has harmed tennis'

2009-11-03 20:10

Hamburg - Andre Agassi has harmed the sport of tennis with his crystal meth drug use confession, German rival Boris Becker said.

"He is only doing harm to tennis," Becker told the website of the Sport Bild weekly on Tuesday. "I am asking myself 'why is he making this confession?'

"You could forget about it if he had had too many beers or smoked a joint. But we are talking about one of the worst drugs: crystal meth is a synthetic stimulant and one of the most dangerous drugs."

"I feel disappointed as an athlete. He has won many Grand Slams, some of them against me. If he won those because he was on speed it's simply unfair," said Becker.

Agassi, 39, revealed in his new autobiography he took crystal methamphetamine but escaped sanctions by lying to the men's tennis body ATP, saying he had accidentally taken a drink spiked by a former assistant.

Becker was not amused: "He sent a letter to the ATP that it wasn't deliberately. And then they, whoever was responsible there, turned a blind eye. That should not happen on either side."

Becker lost 10 of 14 duels with Agassi during his career, with no love lost between the two.

Several other players like the world leading duo of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have also expressed concern.

"It was a shock when I heard the news. I'm disappointed and I hope there are no more such cases in future. The sport must stay clean," said Federer last week.

Nadal said: "Why is he saying this now that he has retired? It damages the sport, it makes no sense. I'm the first one who wants to make sure tennis is clean."

SAPA

Comments
  • GRAHAM - 2009-11-03 20:46

    Boris, I am sure you have done things in your life that you regret. We all have. That is what life is about; living and learning from our mistakes, etc. No sport is free on some sort of controversy. I don't support drugs but at least the fellow has 'come clean'.

  • Boris - 2009-11-03 21:19

    Graham ... Agassi is like Joost. dropping bombshells to improve book sales. Pathetic. He has hurt the sport. Agassi should have kept his trap shut! Plonker! Boris is right as is Nadal!

  • daphne - 2009-11-03 21:22

    It is sad that now he has retired and has a family that he decides to confess to one of the most horrendous habits. He was a hero to many but he has tarnished his image and it is so unfair to his opponents e.g. Boris Becker and others.

  • piet - 2009-11-03 21:29

    Oh what a load of bullshit. Borris a little bitter or what?? How quick people are to judge and point fingers at others. I am sure Boris is no angel. I dont support drugs but as Graham says life is about learning and one can only learn from their mistakes. Harming the game of tennis.....please...pass the joint!!!!

  • Boris - 2009-11-03 22:02

    @piet, you are missing the point. We are not saying that others are squeaky clean ... we are saying that why would he make his story public now? What does he hope to achieve except more book sales? Very bad taste in my opinion. For someone who loves tennis, he is pretty much destroying it. Fed, Nadal, Becker, etc ... all think the same. Maybe you should take note!

  • Pistol Pete - 2009-11-04 07:41

    Me I dont care, I have a good record against the guy, and anyways who knows maybe we were smoking crystal meth together with my greatest arch rival. So please leave the dude alone, and let him make money with his book.

  • newballsplease - 2009-11-04 07:47

    One thing this confession did achieve, was to put the spotlight on drug use in tennis and how easily the ATP was duped. Surely this is a positive for anyone hoping to keep sport clean. I really don't see how this is destroying tennis. Should we prefer to have drug use in tennis, but not be aware of it?

  • Lou - 2009-11-04 07:54

    As usual, things are done in a certain context. Agassi, like our own Joost, has admitted to something they had previously lied about. The confessions comes conveniently in an auto-bio. There is the concept of doing things, having regrets, learning from it and that is just life, then there is exploiting it for commercial gain, and then there is the lives affected by your actions in the first place. Both Joost and Agassi have used drugs associated with organised crime syndicates. What people have to realise about orgnised crime is that drugs, diamond smuggling, people trafficking, money laundering and arms smuggling are interlinked. The same routes, bribed officials and even crime syndicates are involved in these. In essence, when you buy drugs you are funding the trafficking of underaged children into prostitution. So we can be apologetic about it, and we can be forgiving, but that should also take place in a certain context. Personally I think they should both be charged criminally and prosecuted based on the evidence provided in their biographies. Personally I don't care if anyone uses drugs, as long as they make it for themself for personal consumption and make sure all the chemical and hazardous byproducts are disposed of in the correct manner. If you can not hold to these conditions then your drug habit is killing someone apart from yourself.

  • katman - 2009-11-04 08:27

    Boris is not really one to throw stones. If his life was exemplary, one could perhaps understand. But we're talking about a tax dodging fraudster here. Tut tut.

  • Rafael - 2009-11-04 10:40

    you honestly think his motive is to expose drug use in tennis and how it was swept under the carpet? My opinion is, they have admitted to committing a crime, they should be prosecuted ... best punishment would be to award all revenue from his book to a worthy cause. That should shut him up from revealing all for his own gain!

  • Hannes - 2009-11-04 16:24

    There is definitely profit motive over all in these "late confessions" even if one supposedly does not make good money out of book sales ??(and I think Grisham is a millionaire). Agassi did a lot of good before. He cannot be compared to Joost and it is sad that it happens. But the recession impacted on his latest big property development and who knows how desperate he is. Sad for all fans and players!

  • Lily White - 2009-11-05 17:20

    Boris looks like Goku in Super Saiyan mode in that pic...

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