Andre Agassi drug inquiries dropped

Updated: Mar 18, 2010, 13:19 PM IST

Rome: Tennis officials have closed the book on Andre Agassi`s drug revelations.

International Tennis Federation president Francesco Ricci Bitti told reporters that despite appeals from the World Anti-Doping Agency, the statute of limitations in the case expired long ago and no retroactive punishment was possible.

In Agassi`s recently published autobiography, `Open`, he wrote that he ingested crystal meth in 1997 and then lied to the ATP to avoid a suspension after failing a doping test.

"The ATP is the only entity that could have shed light on what happened, but it`s too late," Bitti said. "WADA asked information from the ATP without much success. As a member of WADA`s executive committee, I`m obviously very disappointed that Agassi - such a great and emblematic player - decided to make these revelations.”

"I`m sure he had his reasons, which were not easy to understand.... There were a lot of strange reasons involved. From a sports point of view, it`s very unfortunate. I think what he did hurt our sport."

In another drug issue, Bitti expressed concern over the appeals launched by Belgian players Yanina Wickmayer and Xavier Malisse, who were given one-year bans for violating WADA`s whereabouts rule.

The suspensions were lifted in December after the players appealed to a Belgian court, and both still have appeals pending with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.