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After a loss in D.C. in July, I decide to shut down for the summer. Though we were married in April, Brooke is in Los Angeles working and I spend much of the summer in Vegas. Slim is there, and we get high a lot. I like feeling inspired again, even if the inspiration is chemically induced. I stay awake all night, several nights in a row, relishing the silence. No one bothering me. Nothing to do but dance around the house and fold the laundry and think.
Apart from the buzz of getting high, I get an undeniable satisfaction from harming myself and shortening my career. But the physical aftermath is hideous. After two days of being high, of not sleeping, I'm an alien. I have the audacity to wonder why I feel so rotten. I'm an athlete, my body should be able to handle this.
In the fall, I'm walking through New York's LaGuardia Airport when I get a phone call. It's a doctor working with the Association of Tennis Professionals. There is doom in his voice, as if he's going to tell me I'm dying. And that's exactly what he tells me.
It was his job to test my urine sample from a recent tournament. It's my duty, he says, to inform you that you've failed the standard ATP drug test. The urine sample you submitted has been found to contain trace amounts of crystal meth.
I fall onto a chair in the baggage claim area.
Yes. I'm here. So. What now?
Well, there is a process. You'll need to write a letter to the ATP, admitting your guilt or declaring your innocence.
Did you know there was a likelihood that this drug was in your system?