'Agassi confession a wake-up call' | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, October 30, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, October 30, 2009

'Agassi confession a wake-up call'

Andre Agassi's admission he used a banned drug in 1997 should serve as a wake-up call to the ATP that they need to act now before they are shamed into it as a result of a scandal, says Dick Pound.
"It has got to the point where either these sports organizations enforce the rules or someone like congress is going to say 'we gave you a chance to manage your affairs properly and now we are going to take it over,'" said Pound, the former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Eight-time grand slam champion Agassi admitted in his autobiography, called Open, that he'd taken the highly-addictive drug crystal methamphetamine and then lied to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) to escape a ban.
On being told he had tested positive for the banned stimulant, Agassi said he wrote a letter 12 years ago, claiming he had taken it by accident and asking for leniency. No disciplinary action was taken.
"The fact that one of the stars acknowledged that it is simple to beat the system tells you everything you need to know," Pound told AFP in a telephone interview. "He lied about the test but the most interesting part is the ATP and why they did not do anything."
Mary Joe Fernandez, captain of the American Fed Cup tennis team, said she was stunned to hear of Agassi's failed drug test.
"A bit of a shock more than anything else," Fernandez said. "You know obviously I was disappointed to hear something like that but you know it takes a lot of guts and courage to come out and say something that you know nobody would have really known about.
"I've always admired Andre and he was a huge part of inspiring my generation.
"You know he's opening up now and that's his choice and maybe people can learn from it."
Fernandez said players nowadays get tested over two dozen times a year so she doubts anybody could get away with what Agassi did.

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