Nike announced that it has suspended its relationship with tennis star Maria Sharapova. Two other endorsement deals of the tennis star were also in jeopardy after the player made an admission to failing a drug test.
On Monday, Sharapova told reporters that she is aware of the consequences she faces after she tested positive for a drug that is little known during January’s Australian Open.
Meldonium was an addition to the list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency in January and Sharapova admitted on Monday that she missed the notification.
She said she had made a big mistake. She added that she let all her fans down as well as the sport. She accepted full responsibility for her actions.
The International Tennis Federation announced that the five-time winner of Grand Slam tournaments is provisionally suspended starting March 12.
Sharapova was No. 1 in the world at one point and has been the highest paid female athlete for 11 straight years.
Nike announced that is was surprised and saddened by Sharapova’s news and decided it was best to suspend the relationship it has with the star while an investigation is ongoing.
Sharapova has been a brand ambassador for a longtime for Tag Heuer, but the company website no longer had her page available as of Tuesday morning.
The company announced that it had been discussing an extension with Sharapova whose contracted had ended as of December 31, 2015.
However, the Swiss watchmaker said due to the current situation, negotiations for an extension were suspended and Sharapova’s contract would not be renewed.
Meanwhile, Porsche announced it was saddened by the news and chose to postpone its planned activities pending more analysis and details.
Last year, Sharapova earned $29.7 million with the vast majority from her many endorsements. She was listed by Forbes magazine as the highest paid female athlete in the world for 11 straight years.
Other companies with endorsement relationships with Sharapova such as HEAD and Avon, have yet to make any comments regarding her situation.