To Punish or To Forgive: Andre Agassi

11/10/09 in Tennis   |   sportsgnork   |   44 respect

Andre Agassi recently revealed that he took a banned substance, failed a drug test and then lied about it.  He said that he didn't knowingly take it, he knew it.  He later went on to win more money and titles.  Martina Navratilova has called Agassi the Roger Clemens of Tennis.  Marat Safin has called for Agassi to return his titles and prize money.  These are the facts. 

Now what does the ATP do?  The world anti-doping agency wants Agassi investigated and has put the ATP on the spot.  Here is what the ATP tells the world anti-doping agency,

Dear WADA,
"So you want us to investigate and vilify the player that brought tennis to a level that it had never seen before for a relatively minor incident?  He is a humanitarian that gives back to his sport, underprivileged kids and to his country.  Yeah, I don't think so!" 

Sincerely,
The ATP

Do I think what he did is right? No.  Should he get some punishment? Sure.  Does he deserve to be called the Roger Clemens of tennis, ostracized by his peers and to be forced to give back everything he earned?  Absolutely not!! 

Martina, Roger Clemens lied about what he did and is still lying about it.  He took PED's, Andre did not and admitted to taking a drug that does quite the opposite even though he states he did not know what he was taking. He knew.  Shut you mouth! Marat, you owe Andre everything.  Without him bring tennis to this level, you don't get the prize money, the sponsorships or the training.  He made tennis marketable.  Go throw a tantrum and shut your mouth! 

Is Andre trying to sell more copies, maybe.  My point is that although his story is very similiar to the rest of the athletes out there that have admitted to, been brought under suspicious or even been listed as failing tests.  He is the one of the few that did not take a PED.  He is the only one that has done anything outside of his sport and did anything for his sport.  I keep bringing this point up over and over.  Please stand up if you started watching tennis because of Agassi?  I see very few of you sitting.  I know I am one of the millions standing.  He has given way too much to be punished severely.  I still think he needs to make amends somehow, but it needs to be on his terms.  He will figure something out.  He may even donate some proceeds of his book to an ATP charity. 

All in all, I don't think that this needs to be as big a deal as it is turning out to be.
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11/12/09   |   sportsgnork   |   44 respect

BluDevil wrote:
I read the funniest headline today:

"Andre Agassi was a wig-wearing meth-head"

Awesome! 

11/11/09   |   BluDevil   |   618 respect

sportsgnork wrote:
Which goes back to the point I keep bringing up over and over.  He is the only player that brings world wide pub to tennis, good or bad. 

I read the funniest headline today:

"Andre Agassi was a wig-wearing meth-head"

11/11/09   |   sportsgnork   |   44 respect

BluDevil wrote:
Hey, at least we're talking about tennis. I'm sure the sport and Andre are both happy with the pub they are getting now.

Which goes back to the point I keep bringing up over and over.  He is the only player that brings world wide pub to tennis, good or bad. 

11/11/09   |   BluDevil   |   618 respect

Hey, at least we're talking about tennis. I'm sure the sport and Andre are both happy with the pub they are getting now.

11/10/09   |   myladylee   |   16 respect

What is in the past just leave it in the past  is not hurting nobody WHY he has to bring that up, it was stupid he just should it leaved it in the PAST.
He hurt himself alone, for what ? 
Now we all have a differente image of him, beside of the great tennis player he was.



11/10/09   |   guylake   |   321 respect

Good post.

11/10/09   |   adkbabe   |   141 respect

I have played tennis since I was 5 yrs old. My Aunt introduced me to the sport and I was instantly hooked. With that being said, when Agassi came on the scene, I was a teen, and fell hook,line & sinker. I was an instant fan. I continued to follow him through his entire career. He was the guy that made Tennis COOL! I agree with you wholeheartedly. When I first learned of Agassi's drug use I was disappointed. But, after listening to him on 60 minutes, you were able to hear his side, and see that he is only human. He was at a low point in his life, and he made a mistake. Once he woke up, and realized what he was doing, he rallied back, and really took off. People are saying that he needs to be punished, and do something to make up for it. Hello?! I think the fact that he is admitting it, and taking the criticism for his act is enough punishment. The fact that he has ALWAYS been generous with his prize money certainly shows what kind of guy he really is. He has always gone the extra mile as a Humanitarian. Not one of us are perfect, and we all have things we have done that we regret. I think we all need to remember the passage in the bible. John 8:7, which states "Let him who is without sin among you, be the first to throw a stone at her." We all live in Glass Houses, and should be careful about throwing stones!

 
 

11/10/09   |   Beaneaters   |   17676 respect

I think they should go easy on the guy, I mean, he was way ahead of his time. He was sporting mullets wigs long before they became retro...

11/10/09   |   sportsgnork   |   44 respect

Marat and Martina's comments angered me the most.  Most everyone credits BJK with helping the women's game with getting more money and equal rights, she did that without a doubt.  But Andre created a whole new market that included the women.  A lot of folks don't seem to realize that.  So tennis players are seeing endorsements like never before and money like never before because him. 

11/10/09   |   billywa   |   658 respect

From what we know, if anything, Agassi took drugs that actually hindered his performance (note his drop out of the Top 100 in the rankings in '97) so how could he have gained a competitive advantage?  Yes, he lied in 97 to cover himself, but all a drug suspension would have cost him would have been endorsements, since his tennis wasn't competitive at the time anyway.  

If anything, they should fine him whatever he actually won during that period. Of course, since he's retired, the fallacy of that is the ATP no longer has any jurisdiction in the matter so...

11/10/09   |   keppieboy   |   158 respect

 Give the guy a break 

11/10/09   |   zballa07   |   44 respect

yea thats a little harsh if you took away everything from athleats who took illegal substances then their would be no athleats