Andre Agassi's upcoming autobiography contains an admission that he used crystal meth in 1997, the year he dropped to No. 141 in the rankings.
In a story posted on People magazine's Web site on Tuesday, Agassi says: "I can't speak to addiction, but a lot of people would say that if you're using anything as an escape, you have a problem."
Excerpts from the book are being printed this week by People and Sports Illustrated. A writer from SI first revealed the crystal meth reference on a Twitter posting on Tuesday, and it was confirmed by publisher Knopf spokesman Paul Bogaards in a telephone interview.
In the posting on People's Web site, Agassi says he "was worried for a moment, but not for long," about how fans would react if they found out he used drugs.
"I wore my heart on my sleeve and my emotions were always written on my face. I was actually excited about telling the world the whole story," Agassi says.
Among the most successful _ and, without a doubt, one of the most popular _ tennis players in history, Agassi won eight Grand Slam singles titles before retiring in 2006. He drew attention not just for his play, but also for his outfits, his hairstyles and his relationships with women.
Agassi's first major championship came at Wimbledon in 1992, and he won a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. But by late 1997, Agassi dropped out of the top 100 in the rankings.
He resuscitated his career in 1998, making the biggest one-year jump into the top 10 in the history of the ATP rankings. The next season, he won the French Open to complete a career Grand Slam, then added a second career U.S. Open title en route to finishing 1999 at No. 1.
Knopf is publishing the book Nov. 9.