Failed Drugs Test: Nike Suspends £50m Sponsorship Deal With Maria Sharapova

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Sportswear giants, Nike has said it will be suspending its £50 million sponsorship deal with Russian lawn tennis star, Maria Sharapova, after she announced on Monday that she failed a drugs test at the Australian Open.

Sharapova, said she tested positive for Meldonium, a substance that was recently included in the banned substances in the sport.

In her defence, Sharapova said she had been using the substance for a decade, and failed to read an email that contained information that it had become prohibited.

In its announcement, 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.”

Luxury watchmaker, Tag Heuer has equally announced it will be suspending its relationship with the Tennis star.

Sharapova, a five-time grand slam winner, is the world’s highest-earning female athlete, carting home earnings of £20.7 million in 2015.

Aside Nike and Tag Heuer, the 28-year-old also enjoys sponsorship deals with Porsche, American Express, Evian and Avon.

She is expected to be provisionally suspended from the game of tennis on March 12, and faces the possibility of a four-year ban for failing the drugs test.

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