Home Sports Maria Sharapova Drug Test: Nike Suspends Sponsorship Deal

Maria Sharapova Drug Test: Nike Suspends Sponsorship Deal


Maria Sharapova’s sponsors have moved quickly to distance themselves from the tennis champion after she admitted failing a drug test.

Nike has suspended its relationship with the five-time Grand Slam tennis champion, while Tag Heuer has cut its ties.

The sportswear giant said it was “saddened and surprised” at Maria Sharapova’s admission that she tested positive for a banned substance at the Australian Open in January.

The former world No 1 said she had been taking meldonium since 2006, on the advice of her family doctor.

Photo Facebook

Photo Facebook

Maria Sharapova, 28, is one of the highest paid female athletes with earnings of over $30 million 2015 from winnings and endorsements.

In addition to the moves from Nike and Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer, automaker Porsche said it was “postponing planned activities” with Maria Sharapova until the situation became clearer.

Maria Sharapova’s relationship with Nike dates back to when she was 11 years old.

The sportswear giant said: “We have decided to suspend our relationship with Maria while the investigation continues.

“We will continue to monitor the situation.”

In 2010, the Russian tennis player signed a new eight-year contract with Nike worth $70 million as well as a cut on sales of her own branded clothes.

Tag Heuer was in talks to extend its deal with Maria Sharapova, which ran out at the end of last year.

The Swiss watchmaker said those talks had now been suspended and the company had decided not to renew the contract.

In 2014, Porsche named her as its first female ambassador and she signed a three-year deal with the car company.

That contract is due to end at the end of this year.

In a statement, the carmaker said: “We are saddened by the recent news announced by Maria Sharapova. Until further details are released and we can analyze the situation, we have chosen to postpone planned activities.”

Maria Sharapova is also the face of Avon perfume, Luck, and the water company Evian. They have yet to comment on the matter.

She tested positive for meldonium, a substance she said she had been taking since 2006 for health issues.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said Maria Sharapova would be provisionally suspended from March 12.