Major marketers were severing ties today with the woman who has been the highest-paid female athlete in the world for the past 11 years, after tennis star Maria Sharapova announced Monday that she had tested positive for a banned substance.
Reuters reports that Nike and Porsche were among the first big companies to sever ties with Sharapova, followed today by Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer.
Sharapova, 28, announced Monday that she had tested positive for meldonium during the Australian Open in January. Sharapova said she had been taking the drug legally for years for diabetes and low magnesium, and failed to check to find out the drug had been added to the list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The ban reportedly went into effect Jan. 1.
The five-time Grand Slam champion earned $29.7 million in 2015, according to Forbes magazine, which reported that most of her income was not from tennis but came instead from endorsements, appearances and royalties.
Forbes listed Sharapova as the world’s highest-paid female athlete in 2015 for the 11th consecutive year.