Marcelo Rios, former world number 1 tennis player, here in February 2018 in Santiago de Chile. - CLAUDIO REYES / AFP
Chilean Marcelo Rios sharply criticized ATP in an interview with the Chilean daily La Tercera , accusing in particular the governing body of the male professional circuit of having concealed "doping" cases in the 1990s ex-American star André Agassi.
ATP is "the biggest shit there is"
The former world number 1 in the 90s, who has never won a single Grand Slam, but with 18 titles including Indian Wells, Miami and Rome gleaned in 1998, has always cultivated a singular spirit on the circuit, to be classified in the lot of strong characters. A personality trait that he seems to have retained at 44 years of age.
Asked by the Chilean daily newspaper about the doping case concerning his compatriot Nicolas Jarry, suspended after a positive test for anabolics in November 2019, Rios violently attacked ATP, "the biggest shit that exists". “They caught Agassi four times for doping and covered him because it was Agassi, and tennis was going into the wall. These are shit, "gringos", "he said.
Agassi addicted to methamphetamine
In his autobiography published in 2009, André Agassi, also a former world number 1, revealed that he was addicted during a part of his methamphetamine career and that he tested positive for a hard drug in 1997. He also told how he had lied to ATP to justify this check, thus avoiding the slightest sanction. But no revelation on other possible cases of doping.
Contacted by AFP, the ATP had not reacted Wednesday to accusations made by Rios, whose speech is rare in the media since his retirement in 2004 due to back problems.