Yesterday afternoon, Maria Sharapova held a press conference in Los Angeles to reveal that she failed a drug test during the Australian Open. According to her, she tested positive for meldonium, a heart medication that was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances earlier this year. The company that produces the drug has already gone on the record and said that people are only supposed to use meldonium for between four and six weeks at a time. But Sharapova claims she has been using it for about ten years now and was unaware that it had been banned recently.
Regardless of whether or not Sharapova knowingly used meldonium—which is reportedly used by some athletes to improve endurance—to gain a competitive advantage, many of her biggest sponsors have already responded to her failed drug test by cutting ties with her. Scroll down to see how some of those sponsors have reacted to the controversy swirling around Sharapova. Sharapova’s positive test has clearly cost her quite a bit of money.
Reaction: “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.”
Reaction: “Maria Sharapova was under contract with Tag Heuer until 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.”
Reaction: “We are saddened by the recent news announced by Maria Sharapova. Until further details are released and we can analyze the situation, we have chosen to postpone planned activities.”
Reaction: “We were surprised by the announcement of Maria Sharapova during her press conference on March 7, 2106. Evian has been a partner of Maria Sharapova for many years, and until now, we have maintained a trustworthy professional relationship. Evian attaches great importance to health, to integrity and to transparence, and we will follow closely the development of the investigation.”
Several of Sharapova's other sponsors, including Avon, Head, and American Express, have not commented yet. We will be sure to let you know if and when they do.
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