Having earned over $29 million last year some $23 million just from endorsements and appearances, according to Forbes Magazine, Maria Sharipova lost her main sponsors and now her future lies uncertain.
In a statement released by Nike, they stated, “We are saddened and surprised by the news about Maria Sharapova…we have decided to suspend our relationship with Maria while the investigation continues.” This after a 2010 eight year extension worth over 70 million dollars.
Quick to jump on the bandwagon was Porche who also decided to suspend sponsorship, “Until further details are released and we can analyze the situation, we have chosen to postpone planned activities.” Not to be left behind was TAG Heuer luxury watchmaker, who where in talks with Marias reps to extend Maria’s contracts, which expired at the end of last year.
Those not to drop Maria and show their support were Evian Water whos owner Danone stated that “Evian has been a partner of Maria Sharapova for many years, and until now, we have maintained a trustworthy professional relationship. … We will follow closely the development of the investigation.”
Serena Williams praised Maria for showing responsibility in admitting her use of meldonium. Williams said she was ‘surprised and shocked’ when she heard about the news, but said the Russian tennis star ‘showed a lot of courage’.
Maria Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion, made a statement on Monday that she failed a drug test on the day she lost to Serena Williams during the quarterfinals after it was revealed she had taken Mildronate better known as Meldonium which was prescribed to her by her family doctor and just recently was banned by WADA ( World Anti-Doping Agency) since the 1st of January of this year.
Serena Williams said she was, “surprised and shocked”, when she heard about the news and said the Russian born Maria Sharipova ‘showed a lot of courage in admitting it.’Serena also said, ‘I think most people were happy she was upfront and very honest,‘ Williams said this before a large news conference Tuesday to promote an exhibition at Madison Square Garden against her good friend Caroline Wozniacki.
Maria Sharipova has been provisionally suspended by the Tennis Anti-Doping Program starting the 12 of March. Follow the discussion
By Staff Writer Ed Barillas