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Officials weigh-up Agassi admission

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Agassi admits crystal meth use
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tennis governing bodies to consider Andre Agassi's doping revelations
  • ATP say an independent panel would consider the issue
  • WADA cannot take action under eight-year statute of limitations

(CNN) -- Tennis officials reacted with disappointment on Wednesday to Andre Agassi's revelation that he had used a banned drug and then lied about it to avoid a ban.

Agassi's admission that he took the stimulant crystal meth in 1997 will come in a soon to be published autobiography which is being serialized by The Times of London.

He avoided a three-month suspension by claiming in a letter to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) that he failed a doping test because a drink had been 'spiked' with the crystal meth.

Under today's anti-doping rules, the American legend could have faced a two-year ban from the circuit.

The ATP issued a statement Wednesday in which it said that an independent panel would make the final decision on a doping violation.

"The ATP has always followed this rule, and no executive at the ATP has therefore had the authority or ability to decide the outcome of an anti-doping matter," the statement read.

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey said they could not take retrospective action against the eight-time grand slam winner because of its eight-year statute of limitations, but demanded the ATP investigate fully.

"WADA would, however, expect the ATP, which administered its own anti-doping program at that time, to shed light on this allegation," Fahey said in a statement.

WADA would, however, expect the ATP, which administered its own anti-doping program at that time, to shed light on this allegation
--John Fahey

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) took over responsibility for the ATP's doping program in 2006 and its president Francesco Ricci Bitti said that Agassi's revelations showed that a tough anti-doping program was needed.

Agassi did find strong support from Nicolas Hayek, chairman of Swatch Group, for whom Agassi acts as an ambassador.

He told CNN that his company would stick with the 39-year-old Agassi in his current role.

"He's admitted a mistake and it's fine with us," he said.