Despite explaining that she’s been taking Meldonium — a non FDA-approved drug — for 10 years for health issues, Maria was still “provisionally suspended” starting on March 12 by the International Tennis Federation.
Well there’s more bad news for the blonde beauty as Nike, Porsche, and TAG Huer are all distancing themselves from the athlete in light of the findings.
Nike is one of the athlete’s bigger deals as she signed a deal with them back in 2010 worth $70 million over eight years. The athletic company released a statement regarding their decision saying:
“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.”
Porsche is also waiting to see what comes of the drug scandal as they said they are postponing any activities with the Russian star “until further details are released and we can analyze the situation.”
While there is still hope for those two companies, TAG Heuer is straight cutting ties as they announced:
“Maria Sharapova was under contract with TAG Heuer until December 31, 2015. We had been in talks to extend our collaboration. In view of the current situation, the Swiss watch brand has suspended negotiations and has decided not to renew the contract.”
The drug in question is primarily used on patients with the heart problems. However, the World Anti-Doping Agency said the drug was added to the banned list this year “because of evidence of its use by athletes with the intention of enhancing performance.”
Sharapova’s attorney, John Haggerty, said that as a result of the failed test, punishment “could result in a ban of up to four years” from the ITF, but there’s a chance “mitigating circumstances can lead to the elimination of a ban altogether.”
Haggerty added that they have not determined their full course of action yet.
What do you think of companies backing away from Sharapova?
[Image via FayesVision/WENN.]