Maria Sharapova loses endorsement deals after revealing she took banned drug for ten years

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova was dropped from several sponsors after she admitted she had tested positive for a banned substance at January’s Australian Open

The five-times Grand Slam champion dropped the bombshell at a press conference at a Los Angeles hotel, confessing she had been found to have taken Mildronate – or Meldonium – which was prohibited from January 1 this year.

Just hours later, the 28-year-old lost her most lucrative deal – an eight-year contract extended in 2010 for a reported $70million with sportswear brand Nike, where she has her own clothing line.

Swiss watch brand TAG Heuer followed suit, saying that its contract with Sharapova had expired at the end of 2015 and it has pulled out of negotiations on a new agreement.

Another one of her major partners, Porsche, said that while they are ‘certainly not dumping’ Sharapova, they are currently ‘not pursuing any further activities’ with her.

Maria Sharapova

The International Tennis Federation has confirmed the star will be provisionally suspended from the sport from March 12, however, despite this, the president of the Russian Tennis Federation has said he expects Sharapova to play in the Olympics in Brazil in August this year.  

In a statement on Monday night, Nike said: ‘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.’

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Sharapova earns $30million a year in endorsements, according to Forbes. Current endorsements include American Express, Avon, Evian, Porsche.

‘We have enjoyed a very good relationship with Maria Sharapova during our partnership,’ Viktoria Wohlrapp, Head of Sports Communications at Porsche told MailOnline

‘We are not to make any fast assumptions and will wait for the outcome of the investigation into the drug. In the meantime, we will not be pursuing any further activities, as these are strong allegations so it would not be appropriate

‘This could go either way, but we are certainly not dumping her.

Avon said on Tuesday morning that they are not commenting on their contract with Sharapova, who is the face of their fragrance called Luck.

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