Sponsors begin to drop Sharapova after failing doping test

Porsche suspends Sharapova as its brand ambassador while TAG Heuer refuses to renew contract with her after she fails drug test

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Tennis player Maria Sharapova of Russia poses next to a Porsche at the Grand Palais in Paris, France, in this May 21, 2015 file photo.

Luxury carmaker Porsche said on Tuesday it would suspend tennis player Maria Sharapova as its brand ambassador in light of her admission that she failed a doping test, after in a similar move Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer said it would not renew its marketing contract.

The Russian tennis star on Monday admitted she had failed a drug test at the Australian Open due to a substance she was taking for health issues.

"We regret the current news about Maria Sharapova. Until further details emerge and we are able to analyse the situation, we have decided to suspend planned activities," Porsche said in a statement.

Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer also on Tuesday said it would not renew its marketing contract with Russian tennis star.

"Maria Sharapova was under contract with TAG Heuer until December 31th, 2015. We had been in talks to extend our collaboration," a company statement said.

"In view of the current situation, the Swiss watch brand has suspended negotiations and has decided not to renew the contract with Ms Sharapova."

The five-time Grand Slam winner had a 12-year relationship with TAG Heuer, a company spokesperson told AFP in an email.

First such announcement came from US sportswear giant Nike, which said it was "saddened and surprised" by the Russian's announcement and was suspending its contract.

Sharapova announced Monday that she had tested positive for Meldonium, a drug she said she had been taking since 2006 but was only added to the banned list this year.

TRTWorld and agencies