Feeling guilty? Give the money back, Safin tells Agassi

PARIS Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:15am EST

Andre Agassi of the U.S. looks on during an exhibition tennis match against compatriot Pete Sampras at Venetian Macao in Macau October 25, 2009. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Andre Agassi of the U.S. looks on during an exhibition tennis match against compatriot Pete Sampras at Venetian Macao in Macau October 25, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip

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PARIS (Reuters) - Marat Safin has come up with an instant remedy to help Andre Agassi clear his conscience after his admission that he lied about using drugs -- hand back the millions of dollars he made in prize money.

Safin also suggested Agassi might also want to consider forfeiting all the titles he won during his long and celebrated career if he was serious about coming clean.

"He feels guilty? So let him just give back his titles, money, his grand slams!" Safin told the French sports daily L'Equipe.

"If he is so fair play, he should go all the way. You know, ATP have a bank account, he can refund if he wants to."

Safin, currently playing his last tournament in Paris this week, also questioned Agassi's motives for revealing his past drug use in his autobiography "Open."

In his book, Agassi revealed he had used and tested positive for crystal meth in 1997 but escaped punishment by lying to the investigators.

The American has since spoken about his remorse over his actions but Safin said was concerned about the way in which he confessed.

"I won't write my biography. I do not need any money. The question is: why did he do it?" Safin said.

"What's done is done. He hopes to sell more books. But he is completely stupid!"

"I do not defend the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) but what he said put them in a bad position. ATP allowed him to win a lot of tournaments, to make a lot of money.

"They kept his secret so why be so cruel with them? There are times you need to be able to shut up."

Earlier this month, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said they were investigating whether to lay fresh charges against Agassi.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Julian Linden)

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