After Nike and Tag Heuer, Luxury car maker Porsche, a division of Volkswagen, 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.
"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.
Earlier, Swiss watch brand TAG Heuer said on Tuesday that the brand will be dropping its sponsorship of Maria Sharapova, after the Russian tennis star said she had failed a drug test.
TAG Heuer said in a statement that its previous contract with Sharapova had expired at the end of 2015 and it has pulled out of negotiations on a new agreement. The brand had been associated with the Russian tennis star since 2004.
Sharapova, a five-time major winner, on Monday said she failed a test at the Australian Open in January for the banned substance meldonium, a heart medication commonly sold in Eastern Europe. Meldonium was added to the banned list on 1 Jan.
"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 and has decided not to renew the contract," the unit of French luxury goods group LVMH said in a statement.
Sportswear giant Nike also suspended its sponsorship, saying in a statement that it was "saddened and surprised by the news." Her relationship with Nike dates back to when she was 11 years old.
Sharapova was the world’s highest-paid female athlete last year for the 11th straight year with earnings of $29.7 million, including $23 million from endorsements and appearances, according to Forbes.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said the five-time Grand Slam champion would be provisionally suspended from 12 March.
(With inputs from Agencies)
Published Date: Mar 08, 2016 18:36 PM | Updated Date: Mar 08, 2016 22:17 PM