Porsche May Be Kicking Maria Sharapova To The Curb For A Failed Drug Test

Industry News

This seems so unfair!

Maria Sharapova had a sweet gig as a world class tennis star and global brand ambassador for Porsche. She burst onto the tennis scene after winning Wimbledon in 2004 at age 17. She is still one of the top ranked players in the world and is estimated to earn over $200 million per year off the court (according to Forbes). In 2013, Sharapova signed a three-year contract to be a brand ambassador for Porsche. Unfortunately, her tennis career and her many sponsorships are now in question after failing a doping test.

The Russian tennis star recently admitted to failing a drug test at the Australian Open. Sharapova tested positive for meldonium, a substance that is used to treat diabetes and low magnesium. Doctors have been prescribing this medicine to her for decades, but recent changes by the the World Anti-Doping Agency have banned this substance in competitions. Sharapova takes full responsibility for failing the drug test. She claims that she simply did not know that her medicine was called by another name, and that is was on her team's ban list. Following the news of her failed drug test, Porsche suspended Sharapova as global ambassador. Nike and Tag Heuer have cut ties.

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From a business standpoint it makes sense for Porsche to potentially sever its relationship with Sharapova. However, it may want to wait a bit and see how long her suspension is. The automaker could not care less if Sharapova is doping. The larger issue is that they pay her because she's a tennis star. If she isn't playing tennis, well then that's just wasted money. Hopefully Porsche keeps Sharapova on its roster because if nothing else she looks great next to the automaker's cars. That's got to be worth something, right? Besides, it's not like she threatened to walk when it was revealed Porsche had dirty diesels.

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