Nike Suspends Maria Sharapova’s Endorsement Deal After She Confessed To Doping

Maria Sharapova-OnoBello (1)

 

Former Wimbeldon champion, Maria Sharapova tested positive for Meldonium (a prohibited medical substance) after competing in the Australian Open in January.

The 5-time Grand Slam champion admitted to testing positive during a press conference at Los Angeles where she confessed to being caught out by tennis’ anti-doping operation on Monday night.

28-year-old Sharapova who happens to be the highest earning female in any sport, said she had been found to have taken Mildronate (or Meldonium) a drug which had been prohibited from January 1, 2016.

On the heels of her shocking announcement, the star has not only been provisionally suspended from Tennis by the International Tennis Federation, she has also lost her most lucrative endorsement deal with Nike, an 8-year contract extended in 2010 for a reported $70 million which also included ownership of a clothing line.

The sportswear brand announced suspension of their relationship with Sharapova hours after she admitted to testing positive to the banned substance in a statement which read: “We are saddened and surprised by the news about Maria Sharapova. We have decided to suspend our relationship with Maria while the investigation continues. We will continue to monitor the situation.”

The tennis pro who according to Forbes earns $30 million yearly in endorsements currently also endorses American Express, Avon, Evian, Porsche and Tag Heuer.

Despite her suspension from the international Tennis Federation, the President of the Russian Tennis Federation has however said he expects Sharapova to play in the Olympics in Brazil come August.

 

 

 


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