Agassi pleads for compassion
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.