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Sponsors Suspend Relationships with Sharapova - Bob Larson's Tennis News

Sponsors Suspend Relationships with Sharapova

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Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Maria Sharapova Tennis News

Nike is the first of Maria Sharapova’s weighty portfolio of sponsors to suspend their deal with the 28 year-old former world no.1 following her admission that she failed a drugs test at the recent Australian Open and faces a lengthy ban from tennis.

However a statement from the sportswear giant read: “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.”

Nike provided the largest part of Sharapova’s huge corporate backing that last year earned her a reported $23 million from endorsements alone. Her other sponsors include Porsche and Tag Heuer who have also announced suspensions. Other sponsors include Samsung, Avon and Evian.

At the time of going to press the cosmetics company Avon refused to comment on its partnership with Sharapova who is effectively suspended from tennis competition from Saturday.

Speaking of her financial worth before the drug situation came to light, Sharapova said: “Beauty sells. I have to realize that’s a part of why people want me. I understand it. It’s fine. I’m not going to make myself ugly.”

Nike has a recent history of abandoning controversial figures. Only last month Nike severed its ties with the Filipino eight times world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, who triggered a firestorm of controversy by describing gay couples as “worse than animals.”

Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.