Three of Maria Sharapova’s biggest corporate sponsors have suspended their contracts with the Russian tennis star after the former world number one revealed she had failed a drugs test at the Australian Open in January.
Sportswear group Nike and Swiss watch brand TAG Heuer said they had dropped their sponsorships, while carmaker Porsche said it would “postpone planned activities” with the player until further details were released.
Ms Sharapova — the world’s highest-paid female athlete — announced on Monday that she had tested positive for meldonium, an endurance-enhancing drug.
“I did fail the test and take full responsibility for it,” said the 28-year-old, who stormed on to the world stage in 2004 when she won Wimbledon aged 17.
“I know that with this, I face consequences,” she added. “I don’t want to end my career this way. I really hope that I will be given another chance to play this game.”
A rash of sports scandals has left sponsors increasingly nervous about the value of their deals with sports and individual athletes. Last month, Fifa, world football’s governing body, said its troubles had left a $550m hole in its budget though lost commercial opportunities. Adidas, the sportswear group, has ended its sponsorship deal with the IAAF, the world athletics body plagued by doping scandals.
前世界排名第一的网球选手玛丽亚?莎拉波娃(Maria Sharapova)宣布自己未能通过1月澳大利亚网球公开赛(Australian Open)的药检后，她的三大企业赞助商暂停了与这位俄罗斯网球明星的合同。