Agassi nominated for International Tennis Hall of Fame

By Frank Pingue

Agassi, who shocked the sporting world late last year when he admitted using the highly addictive drug crystal meth and lying to tennis officials to escape a ban, was the only name in the recent player category, the Hall said on Wednesday.

Agassi, who also captured a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, is married to Steffi Graf, a retired tennis player and 2004 Hall of Fame inductee, with whom he has two children.

"It is a pleasure to recognize Andre Agassi, undoubtedly one of the most talented and iconic athletes of all time, with our sport's highest honor," Tony Trabert, International Tennis Hall of Fame president, said in a statement.

The 40-year-old American retired in 2006 but was thrust back into the spotlight when his autobiography "Open" candidly described being introduced to crystal meth in 1997 and the moment when he was informed he had failed a drugs test.

Voting for the 2011 ballot will take place over the next several months with an announcement expected early next year.

Australian Thelma Coyne Long and Briton Christine Truman Janes were nominated in the master player category, while tennis administrators Mike Davies and Fern Lee Kellmeyer were nominated in the contributor category.

(Editing by Steve Ginsburg)