Add another loved and respected athlete to the list of those that have admitted to drug abuse. Andre Agassi shocked fans this week when he told The Times that he used crystal methamphetamine.
Agassi was one of the most loved and well known tennis players in the 1990’s. His wild boy look and energetic attitude drew fans in. Tennis became a little more exciting when Agassi began to play, and many people who had never cared about the sport started tuning in.
Testing for Drugs
Agassi actually had a run in with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), the policing entity of tennis, back in 1997. That year, Agassi failed a drug test, and when confronted by the ATP, he reportedly came up with a lie, saying that he had taken a drink of his assistant’s spiked drink, thus causing him to test positive for crystal methamphetamine. The case was withdrawn, and we all assumed he was telling the truth, but apparently we shouldn’t have believed him so quickly. It makes you wonder how many other tennis players got away with drugs during that time. If a simple letter could counter the results of a drug test, it seems like the ATP might not have been trying too hard to catch players that were using drugs.
In the case of Agassi, it would make sense – the same organization that policed tennis was also the one responsible for promoting it. Losing Agassi to the grip of drugs would have been very detrimental to the sport. Maybe it was just easier for them to believe Agassi’s story and pretend like nothing ever happened.
It will be interesting to see how this revelation by Agassi changes the public’s opinion of him, and of tennis. Being out of the spotlight for some time now, it might not be such a shock as it could have been in 1997. But there are plenty of young people out there that look up to Andre Agassi as a role model, and once again, the pro sports figures are letting us down with their substance abuse.
Dealing with the Pressures of Life
It is a tough job to be in the world of pro sports. Long hours, grueling workouts, and life on the road all lead to these athletes feeling as though they are giving more than they’ve got. Agassi blamed the pressures of the sport and the long tennis season on this own drug abuse. Many of these athletes aren’t even dealing with performance enhancing substances as we might figure, either. It isn’t so much that they are using drugs to do their sport better, but rather to help them through the tough days. Sounds like a lot of the rest of the population. Many people use drugs to escape from the pressures of their life, but we’ve got to start learning that turning to drugs only makes matters worse.