Maria Sharapova’s bombshell doping announcement yesterday is already hitting her in the bank account. The richest female athlete on the planet has seen three of her main sponsors take action in less than 24 hours.
Nike, which signed the Russian to an 8-year, $70 million dollar deal in 2010 has suspended (not ended) their relationship with Sharapova pending the outcome of final verdict which could be as long as a 4-year ban from the sport.
“We are saddened and surprised by the news about Maria Sharapova,” Nike said in a statement. “We have decided to suspend our relationship with Maria while the investigation continues. We will continue to monitor the situation.”
Sharapova’s car sponsor Porche has done the same postponing further activities with the star.
But watchmaker Tag Heuer released a statement saying they will not renew their contract with the 5-time Grand Slam winner. They were in the midst of renegotiations after the last contract expired on December 31, 2015.
“We had been in talks to extend our collaboration. In view of the current situation, the Swiss watch brand has suspended negotiations, and has decided not to renew the contract with Ms. Sharapova,” they said in a statement.
Sharapova still has deals in place with Head, Avon, Evian and other brands. But will they also distance themselves from the now-tainted former No. 1?
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