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I never doped while playing: Agassi

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New York, Nov 9(ANI): Former American tennis star Andre Agassi has denied rumours suggesting that he could have played the game while doped, claiming it would be physically impossible to play tennis while being high on crystal meth.

Agassi has admitted in his autobiography, Open, that he regularly got high with a guy called 'Slim' during 1997- the year he dropped out of tennis as he coped with his impending marriage to actress Brooke Shields, a marriage he didn't want to go through with.

"No, I never did it in tournaments. I never did because it would have been a disaster. It's hideous; it's not the way you feel, but what you're incapable of. Your heart rate runs high enough as it is, but to have that kind of heart rate and to tell yourself to calm down and hit a second serve is literally impossible," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Agassi, as saying.

"Then there's the dehydration factor, the fact you can't drink a lot of water, you don't want to eat, you just wanna burn, you wanna burn, you wanna burn. You'd be lucky to last a set; it would not be physically possible to play a match without real health problems," he added.

The 39-year-old further highlighted that he wasn't surprised by the reaction that his revelations have got, saying that any damage to his reputation was a small price to pay if his story was of value to readers in similarly dark places.

"I wasn't surprised by the reaction. I have a clear understanding of how someone would feel angered by it and disappointed by it - you have to remember I lived years feeling angry at myself and disappointed at myself, so the reaction doesn't surprise me," Agassi said.

"It took me years to process and it will take other people time to process the shock and to work through the anger and disappointment, but in the end I think calmer heads will rule the day as it relates to the fact that this is the true me - there is nothing about this that isn't true," he added. (ANI)

Story first published: Monday, November 9, 2009, 16:12 [IST]
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