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Agassi admits drug taking

File photo shows former tennis champion Andre Agassi in the opening ceremony at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, August 31, 2009.

Former tennis star Andre Agassi has admitted in his autobiography that he used recreational drug crystal meth in 1997 when his ranking plummeted to 141.

Excerpts of the eight-time grand slam winner Andre Agassi's upcoming autobiography published Wednesday by Sports Illustrated and the Times of London contain graphic depictions of his use of crystal meth, an account of how he wriggled his way out of a suspension by lying to the ATP tour after failing a 1997 drug test, and the jarring contention that he always hated tennis "with a dark and secret passion" because of his overbearing father.

The truth, Agassi says in his autobiography, was that he regularly took the drug at the time when his career was stumbling and he was having second thoughts about his impending marriage to Hollywood actress Brooke Shields.

The admission serves up a major embarrassment for the Association of Tennis Professionals, which runs the men's tennis tour and supervises drug testing.

Like Michael Phelps, whose image is indeed everything, Agassi has provided new, indelible, behind-the-scenes images -- along with raising questions about why he chose to reveal his crystal meth habit.

Agassi is not explaining himself at the moment. His representative referred interview requests to his publishing company, which has set up a "60 Minutes" appearance on Nov. 8, the day before the book's scheduled release.

 Source : Xinhua/Reuters photo  Editor: Ivy
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