Andre Agassi used crystal meth while he was playing professional tennis, according to a new autobiography to be released next month.
The Times of London plans to serialize the book and released details on Tuesday which describe how Agassi came to use the drug and how he avoided discipline by the ATP.
In 1997, Agassi was struggling with his game and with his decision to marry actress Brooke Shields. His assistant, identified as Slim, introduced him to the drug, according to the excerpt.
"Slim is stressed too ... He says, You want to get high with me? On what? Gack. What the hell's gack? Crystal meth," Agassi recounts in the book. "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," Agassi says.
"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, according to The Times, Agassi receives a call from a doctor working with the ATP, telling him that he has failed a drug test.
"My name, my career, everything is now on the line," Agassi recounts in the book. "Whatever I've achieved, whatever I've worked for, might soon mean nothing. 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.
"I feel ashamed, of course. I promise myself that this lie is the end of it."
The ATP threw out the positive drug test and it did not surface until now.
Agassi had won the Olympic gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta Games, but didn't win a major in 1997, dropping to No. 141 in the rankings.
He resuscitated his career in 1998, making the biggest one-year jump into the top 10 in the history of the ATP rankings. The next season, he won the French Open to complete a career Grand Slam, then added a second career U.S. Open title en route to finishing 1999 at No. 1.
He went on to win three more Australian Open titles before retiring in 2006. He won more than $30 million in his career, and eight major singles titles.
He is currently married to former Grand Slam champion Steffi Graf. They have two children.
Excerpts from the book, titled "Open: An Autobiography," which comes out Nov. 9, are being published this week in the London newspaper, as well as Sports Illustrated and People magazines.
A writer from SI first revealed the crystal meth reference on a Twitter posting Tuesday.
In a story posted on People magazine's Web site Tuesday, Agassi says: "I can't speak to addiction, but a lot of people would say that if you're using anything as an escape, you have a problem."
In the posting on People's Web site, Agassi says he "was worried for a moment, but not for long," about how fans would react if they found out he used drugs.
"I wore my heart on my sleeve and my emotions were always written on my face. I was actually excited about telling the world the whole story," Agassi says