Nike to Stand by Maria Sharapova Despite Drug Ruling

The Russian tennis star will continue to represent both brands regardless of this black mark on her career.

By
Sports
7,306 Hypes 0 Comments

Earlier in March, Russian-born tennis star Maria Sharapova revealed that she had tested positive for the drug meldonium during January’s Australian Open. While she claimed she had been taking it for the past 10 years and was unaware meldonium had been placed on the list of banned drugs as compiled by the World Antidoping Agency, she was subsequently handed a two-year suspension from the sport by the International Tennis Federation. Despite this supposed mark on her otherwise stellar career, Sharapova’s sponsors – Nike and HEAD — have vowed to continue endorsing the 29-year-old.

“The ITF Tribunal has found that Maria did not intentionally break its rules,” said a Nike spokesperson on Wednesday. “Maria has always made her position clear, has apologized for her mistake and is now appealing the length of the ban. Based on the decision of the ITF and their factual findings, we hope to see Maria back on court and will continue to partner with her.”

HEAD’s chairman Johan Eliasch also said, “Without necessary and extensive clinical testing that highlights either meldonium’s performing enhancing benefits or evidence of it being detrimental to athletes, it is evident that WADA banned meldonium based upon the amount of athletes using meldonium rather than any scientific evidence.”

It seems that Sharapova’s brand remains too lucrative to these brands for them to distance themselves from her, as Nike did following homophobic comments made by boxing champion Manny Pacquiao in February. With $20 million USD in endorsement deals and $1.9 million USD in salary and winnings, Sharapova will continue to serve as an irresistible face of tennis for the near future at the very least.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

WACKO MARIA Adds to Its Nike SB Collaboration With Leopard-Printed Janoski
Footwear

WACKO MARIA Adds to Its Nike SB Collaboration With Leopard-Printed Janoski

An expressive style from the influential Japanese label and the Swoosh’s skate subdivision.

WACKO MARIA Re-Enlists WOLF'S HEAD for Glittery Greaser Capsule
Fashion

WACKO MARIA Re-Enlists WOLF'S HEAD for Glittery Greaser Capsule

Rockabilly standards upgraded with shiny silver and Italian textiles.

Vault by Vans and Wacko Maria Announce Collaboration for Fellow Music Lovers
Footwear 

Vault by Vans and Wacko Maria Announce Collaboration for Fellow Music Lovers

Presented by Vans
Introducing new Vans Authentic models inspired by music and collector culture.


WACKO MARIA Reveals Upcoming Nike SB Blazer Low Collab
Footwear

WACKO MARIA Reveals Upcoming Nike SB Blazer Low Collab

The Japanese label offers its take on the skate classic.

Here's a Rare Chance to Spend a Night on a Floating Home on the Great Barrier Reef
Travel

Here's a Rare Chance to Spend a Night on a Floating Home on the Great Barrier Reef

All thanks to Airbnb.

This LA Record Store Is Giving Away 20,000 Free Records
Music 

This LA Record Store Is Giving Away 20,000 Free Records

June 11 & 12.

Christophe Lemaire Officially Joins Uniqlo as Artistic Director of "Uniqlo U"
Fashion

Christophe Lemaire Officially Joins Uniqlo as Artistic Director of "Uniqlo U"

After collaborating on “Uniqlo and Lemaire,” the designer is now overseeing the new “Uniqlo U” line.


Beyoncé Sued Over 'Lemonade'
Music 

Beyoncé Sued Over 'Lemonade'

Filmmaker Matthew Fulks is calling out Bey for stealing visual elements.

Fritz Hansen's VIA 57 Chair Is a Future Modernist Classic
Design

Fritz Hansen's VIA 57 Chair Is a Future Modernist Classic

Taking inspiration from iconic Scandinavian designer Arne Jacobsen.

Mark Zuckerberg Will Host His First Facebook Live on June 14
Tech

Mark Zuckerberg Will Host His First Facebook Live on June 14

Have a question about Facebook? Here’s your chance.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Adblock Detected.

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. If you enjoy our content, please add us to your adblocker's whitelist. We'd really appreciated it.