Still wearing Nikes and driving a Porsche . .. Sharapova shops to forget drug scandal
SHE is still wearing Nike trainers and driving her Porsche Cayenne.
But the days when Maria Sharapova got paid millions for doing so have come very much to an end.
The Russian tennis star was spotted with the gear from sponsorship deals while shopping at a supermarket in Los Angeles – despite being dropped by the brands after publicly admitting on Monday that she failed a drug test.
The 28- year- old’s financial woes continued to mount yesterday when another sponsor, American Express, distanced itself from her.
It i s estimated that the former Wimbledon champion will lose out on £100million in future earnings.
Since admitting she failed a test for performance-enhancing drug meldonium at the Australian Open in January, Sharapova, who is worth around £137million, has been dropped by watch-maker TAG Heuer as well as Porsche and Nike – with whom she had a £50million deal.
Last night American Express said she had ‘fulfilled the terms of her contract’ in 2015. A spokesman said they hired Sharapova for one- off events and insisted there was ‘no planned work with her for this year before this hap- pened’. Raquet maker Head and cosmetics firm Avon, which also have deals with her, did not comment yesterday.
Sharapova faces a four-year ban from tennis. She insists she missed warnings about meldonium’s ban, which came into effect on January 1, and that she had been taking the substance, which usually treats a heart condition, for ten years for health reasons. But the Latvian manufacturers say it is typically prescribed for four to six weeks. World Anti-Doping Agency president Craig Reedie last night questioned why she would have been prescribed meldonium as an apparently healthy teenager. ÷ Meldonium was used by almost 10 per cent of athletes competing to qualify for the Olympics at last year’s European Games, a study suggests.
This was before the ban, but the report, in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, said it shows ‘the widespread and inappropriate use’ of the drug’ among healthy athletes.
Walking tall: Maria Sharapova in her Nike trainers in LA
Strain: The star looks weary as she gets into her £72,000 Porsche Cayenne