Still wear­ing Nikes and driv­ing a Porsche . .. Shara­pova shops to for­get drug scan­dal

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - From Neil Sears in Lon­don and Daniel Bates in New York

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

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