Porsche is putting some distance between itself and Maria Sharapova after the Russian tennis star tested positive for a recently banned performance-enhancing substance.
Sharapova failed a drug test due to a drug called meldonium used to treat heart conditions and improve cardiac circulation. She says she’s used it for ten years and it was prescribed to her by a doctor. However, it was recently added to a banned substance list by the World Anti-Doping Agency and Sharapova says she hadn’t known about it.
A statement from the World Anti-Doping Agency confirmed the drug was added to the banned list just this year “because of evidence of its use by athletes with the intention of enhancing performance.”
What the failed drug test means is that Sharapova has been nixed from competing in the Australian Open this year. She will also have to miss the Porsche Grand Prix next month.
Porsche is only suspending its ties at this point pending a full investigation. She’s served as Porsche’s brand ambassador since 2013.
“We regret the news about Maria Sharapova. Until more details are known and we can analyse the situation, we have decided to suspend planned activities [with her],” Porsche said in a statement.
Nike has also suspended its sponsorship deal with her and TAG Heuer will not be renewing its recently expired contract with her.