Sponsors Nike, TAG Heuer distance themselves from Sharapova

Major sponsors of top-earning tennis player Maria Sharapova said Tuesday that they would not renew or would suspend contracts with the Russian athlete after she failed a drug test.

"We are saddened and surprised by the news about Maria Sharapova," US sporting goods giant Nike said.

"We have decided to suspend our relationship with Maria while the investigation continues," it added.

Watchmaker TAG Heuer said it scrapped plans to extend a testimonial deal that had ended last year.

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

Sharapova, the highest-earning woman in all of sport, said Monday that she tested positive for meldonium, a medication used to treat heart and circulatory conditions.

She failed a drug test at the Australian Open in January and will be provisionally suspended from March 12 while her case is heard, the International Tennis Federation said.

Last update: Tue, 08/03/2016 - 12:57

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