New Delhi: Nike decided to terminate its relationship with Russian tennis ace Maria Sharapova as the fallout from her admission of a positive drug test at this year’s Australian Open continues.
Sharapova on Monday night announced she failed a test for the banned anti-ischemia drug Mildronate, also known as meldonium.
Sharapova, in a press conference in Los Angeles on Monday, said she had been taking the drug, meldonium, ever since 2006 and didn’t realise that it became a banned substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) at the start of 2016.
“We are saddened and surprised by the news about Maria Sharapova,” a Nike statement read.
“We have decided to suspend our relationship with Maria while the investigation continues. We will continue to monitor the situation.”
It is not the first time this year that Nike has distanced itself from a controversial athlete. Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao saw his contract with the sportswear company terminated after he described gay couples as “worse than animals”.