London: The UN Development Programme, which works to eradicate poverty and inequality, has suspended Maria Sharapova as their goodwill ambassador after the Russian tennis star failed a drug test at this year’s Australian Open that eventually resulted in her provisional suspension.
Earlier, the beleaguered female tennis star had announced that she was tested positive for banned substance, meldonium, which she had been taking since 2006 for health issues.
The UNDP had discontinued its nine-year relationship with Sharapova, whose work was primarily confined to help survivors of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, the Guardian reported.
The UNDP spokesperson thanked Sharapova for her contribution, but added that they were suspending her role as a goodwill ambassador and also barring her from any planned activities in the light of her wrongdoings.
According to the Article 28 of the UN guidelines for the designation of goodwill ambassadors and messengers of peace cautions, the ambassador will be terminated if he or she ‘engages in any activity incompatible with his/her status or with the purposes and principles of the UN, or if the termination is in the interest of the organization’.
Earlier, major sponsors like Nike, Porsche and Tag Heuer had also decided to distance themselves from the 28-year-old tennis player.
Sharapova, who lives in Florida, provided the anti-doping sample on the day she lost to Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarter finals in January.