Agassi bids to swap private torment for public acceptance

December 10th, 2009 - 2:33 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec.10 (ANI): Former tennis great Andre Agassi was in his element while revealing his innermost thoughts on life on and off the court.

Addressing a 900-strong audience at the Institute of Education in Central London last night, Agassi received a partial standing ovation at the start and again when he completed his 90-minute discourse.

It was not a press conference, but a stroll through the many remarkable elements of a career.

“It’s so good to be back in London. You guys have taught me a lot and I cherish the memories,” the 39-year-old said.

“I wondered how my life would look through a literary lens.”It (his autobiography) is about the subject I know least about - me,” Agassi said.

“My life has been a constant pursuit of the truth and I wanted to understand the power of that story. I spent three years locked in my house in Las Vegas with the author, stringing the necklace together. I’m really proud of it, I’m proud of my life, I’m proud of what I got through and what relevance it has had to people I’ve never met,” Agassi was quoted, as saying.

Agassi said he did not truly love the game until he was at his lowest ebb, at No 141 in the world in 1997, the same year he took crystal meth and lied about it to an independent tribunal. He balked at any suggestion that doping was prevalent in tennis.

“I can’t speak of other sports because I don’t follow them, but this was 13 years ago, pre-dating all the sensationalist stuff we read now about performance-enhancing drugs,” Agassi said.

“I have been tested at least 150 times and had 20 blood tests since 1999. This is not a sport where you can disappear for six months and suddenly pick up where you left off. If you are going to cheat in tennis, you are going to get caught, quite possibly the first time,” he added.Asked about how his fellow players had condemned him since he admitted that he had lied to the tribunal to escape a ban that would have cost him his career. (ANI)

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