Agassi pleads for com­pas­sion

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

NEW YORK: Ten­nis player An­dre Agassi, mired in con­tro­versy af­ter ad­mit­ting to us­ing methaphetamine, has pleaded for com­pas­sion in a tele­vi­sion in­ter­view that will be broad­cast to­mor­row in the US.

Dur­ing the 60 Min­utes in­ter­view, Agassi dis­cusses his ex­plo­sive au­to­bi­og­ra­phy Open in which he ad­mit­ted to us­ing the drug and his bat­tles with de­pres­sion.

At one point the for mer world num­ber one be­comes emo­tional af­ter be­ing asked to re­spond to crit­i­cism from fel­low ten­nis star Martina Navratilova, who com­pared him to base­ball pitcher Roger Cle­mens, who is bat­tling dop­ing al­le­ga­tions.

“Yeah it’s what you don’t want to hear,” Agassi told in­ter­viewer Katie Couric.

“I would hope along with that would come some com­pas­sion that maybe this per­son doesn’t need con­dem­na­tion. “Maybe this per­son could stand a lit­tle help.

“Be­cause that was at a time in my life when I needed help.”

In the book Agassi can­didly de­scribes be­ing in­tro­duced to the drug in 1997 and ly­ing to ten­nis au­thor­i­ties over a failed drug test to es­cape a ban.

De­spite the bit­ter back­lash, Agassi said he has no re­grets about dis­clos­ing his drug use, even if it even­tu­ally ends up cost­ing him a place in the Ten­nis Hall of Fame.

“I don’t know what the ram­i­fi­ca­tions are,” Agassi told Couric.

“I had way more to lose by telling this story in its full trans­parency than I had to gain.

“The price that that comes with is the cost that I’ve as­sumed and I’m okay be­cause the part that I worry and think more about is who this may help.”

EMO­TIONAL: An­dre Agassi re­sponds to crit­i­cism.

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