Nike Will Continue To Sponsor Maria Sharapova
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Maria Sharapova received an unexpected boost when Nike said that it will continue to sponsor her despite the two-year doping ban.
On Wednesday, the 29-year-old was handed the ban by a three-member Tennis Anti-Doping Program tribunal appointed by the International Tennis Federation, which concluded she took meldonium ‘for the purpose of enhancing her performance.’
Sharapova had failed a drug test during the Australian Open earlier this year.
Nike had initially decided to end ties with the five-time Grand Slam champion. It now says that she did not break the rules intentionally as she was unaware that meldonium had been added to the list of banned substances.
Meldonium was placed on the banned list by the World Anti-Doping Agency this year but the 2012 Olympic silver medallist said that she had been taking the drug since 2006 legally for years for health reasons.
Sharapova, who was overtaken by Serena Williams as the world’s highest earning sportswoman this week, had seen sponsors such as American Express, Porsche and TAG Heuer distancing themselves following her revelations.
Credit goes to: somak adhikari