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Nadal slams ATP over Agassi

2009-10-30 12:00

Madrid - Rafael Nadal said on Thursday he was shocked that the ATP did not take action regarding Andre Agassi's admission that he took drugs in 1997 but lied about the circumstances to avoid a ban.

"If the ATP covered for Agassi at the time then I think that's dreadful," Nadal said in Madrid as he prepared to receive a civic award.

"The only thing I can say is that if they covered at that moment for the player and punished others for doing the same kind of thing then that would seem to me to be a lack of respect for all sportsmen," the world number two said.

Agassi, one of just six men to have won all four Grand Slam titles and widely regarded as one of the sport's finest players, stunned the world when he revealed earlier this week he'd taken the highly-addictive drug crystal methamphetamine.

The American, now 39, also admitted that he lied to the governing body of the ATP to escape a ban.

On being told he had tested positive for the banned stimulant, Agassi said he wrote a letter to the ATP, the Association of Tennis Professionals, claiming he had taken it by accident and asking for leniency.

No disciplinary action was taken.

Since the story came to light, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey has asked ATP chiefs to "shed light" on the issue.

Crystal Meth is on WADA's List of Prohibited Substances and Methods.

The World Anti-Doping Code only took effect in 2004 and has an eight-year statute of limitations.

But Fahey said that WADA would expect the ATP, which administered its own anti-doping programme at that time, to shed light on the story.

Nadal concluded that "cheats have to be punished" and said he could not understand why Agassi "now that he is retired comes out and says this - it's a way of senselessly damaging the sport".

AFP

Comments
  • Mouse - 2009-10-30 12:25

    Whatever! You can't cry over spilt milk.

  • Mouse - 2009-10-30 12:44

    Whatever! You can't cry over spilt milk.

  • coen - 2009-10-30 13:21

    He should be stripped of the titles won

  • hot wheels - 2009-10-30 14:23

    just let it be....Nadal u cry baby.

  • Thabo - 2009-10-30 16:28

    What does this say about Agassi though. The ATP were given an excuse which they accepted (having been misled by Agassi) now Agassi reveals this in his biography to boost sales. I think that its disgusting and shows him not to be the principled person we all thought he was

  • carms - 2009-10-31 12:17

    Coen, are you ignorant or just stupid. Proper regulations as we know them now was only put in place in 2004. No-where is it stated or proven that he was taking all the time while winning the titles. At least he can admit to making a mistake"- you must be "perfect" to crit! It will do no-one any good anyway

  • Lily White - 2009-11-04 10:35

    @carms - It will do present and future athletes (tennis players in this case) all the good in the world. It will show that honest and hard working players will get what they deserve fairly, while cheaters will be held accountable regardless of their status. I wouldn't be too quick to insinuate(probably being too generous here) other people are ignorant or stupid if I were you.

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