Tennis stars say Agassi should have owned up to meth use - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Tennis stars say Agassi should have owned up to meth use

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FILE - In this Sept. 2, 1997 file picture Andre Agassi, seen, following his match against Australia's Patrick Rafter at the U.S. Open in New York. FILE - In this Sept. 2, 1997 file picture Andre Agassi, seen, following his match against Australia's Patrick Rafter at the U.S. Open in New York.

Grand Slam champions Martina Navratilova and Marat Safin say Andre Agassi should have owned up to a positive drug test when it happened 12 years ago.

Agassi's upcoming autobiography contains an admission he used crystal meth in 1997 and failed a drug test - a result he says was thrown out after he lied by saying he "unwittingly" took the substance.

"Shocking," Navratilova told the Associated Press on Thursday from Sarasota, Florida, in a phone interview. "Not as much shock that he did it as shock he lied about it and didn't own up to it. He owned up to it (in the book), but it doesn't help now."

According to an excerpt of Agassi's autobiography "Open" published on Wednesday in The Times of London, he blamed the positive drug test on accidentally drinking a soda spiked with meth. Agassi wrote that the ATP accepted his explanation and threw out the case.

"Andre lied and got away with it," Navratilova said. "You can't correct that now. Do you take away a title he wouldn't have won if he had been suspended? He beat some people when he should have been suspended."

Safin said the eight-time Grand Slam champion should have spoken up at the time of the positive test or kept his mouth shut.

"One should know how to be silent, but if you are so smart you should have spoken up earlier," Safin said of Agassi after reaching the quarterfinals at the St. Petersburg Open.

"You will never live to see such revelations from me.

"How they will escape this situation - this is the ATP's and Agassi's problem," Safin added.

Navratilova, a winner of 18 Grand Slam singles titles, said she found Agassi's decision to come out with the story now peculiar.

"How is it going to play out for him? I don't know," she said. "I don't know why he would come out now."

Agassi retired in 2006. His autobiography will go on sale on Nov. 9 but it will not be available as an e-book.

Publisher Alfred A. Knopf has not set a date for a digital version.

"We're not releasing an e-book at this time but may consider releasing one in the future," Knopf spokesman Paul Bogaards said on Thursday.

Publishers worry that the growing e-market will take business from the more expensive hardcovers.

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AP sports writers Steven Wine in Miami and Leonid Chizhov in St. Petersburg, and AP National writer Hillel Italie contributed to this report.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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