Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi (Getty Image)

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

According to an excerpt of the autobiography published Wednesday in The Times of London, the eight-time Grand Slam champion writes that he sent a letter to the ATP tour to explain the positive test, saying he accidentally drank from a soda spiked with meth by his assistant "Slim."

"Then I come to the central lie of the letter," Agassi writes. "I say that recently I drank accidentally from one of Slim's spiked sodas, unwittingly ingesting his drugs.

I ask for understanding and leniency and hastily sign it: Sincerely.

"I feel ashamed, of course. I promise myself that this lie is the end of it."

Agassi said the ATP reviewed the case, accepted his explanation and threw it out.

The tour responded with a statement, noting an independent panel makes 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 said.

The International Tennis Federation said it was "surprised and disappointed" by Agassi's revelations.

"Such comments in no way reflect the fact that the tennis anti-doping program is currently regarded as one of the most rigorous and comprehensive anti-doping programs in sport," the ITF said in a statement.

In the past three years, the organization has begun overseeing anti-doping efforts on behalf of the ATP and WTA tours.

"The events in question occurred before the World Anti-Doping Agency was founded in 1999 and during the formative years of anti-doping in tennis, when the program was managed by individual governing bodies," the ITF said.

The president of WADA, Jim Fahey, said he was disappointed by Agassi's revelations and expects the ATP to "shed light on this allegation."

Agassi, who married tennis star Steffi Graf and has two children, retired in 2006.

Excerpts from his autobiography, which comes out Nov. 9, are being published this week in the London newspaper, as well as Sports Illustrated and People magazines.

In a story posted on People magazine's Web site 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."

According to the Times of London, Agassi writes in his book that "Slim" was the person who introduced him to crystal meth, dumping a small pile of powder on the coffee table.

"I snort some. I ease back on the couch and consider the Rubicon I've just crossed," Agassi writes.

"There is a moment of regret, followed by vast sadness. Then comes a tidal wave of euphoria that sweeps away every negative thought in my head. I've never felt so alive, so hopeful - and I've never felt such energy."