My apologies for not posting this on Friday due to other schedule conflicts. This post is for last week and … I will have a new rant of the week on Friday as usual.
But this rant is on tennis star Maria Sharapova and her claim of not knowing that the substance she had been taken for ten years was officially banned beginning January 1 of this year.
Sharapova received a letter from the International Tennis Foundation several days ago informing her that she had failed the test for a substance that had been legal until Jan. 1 of this year.
Here is the kicker …she was warned through emails prior to 2016 that the drug Meldonium. Which she admitted to taken for 10 years.
“I don’t want to end my career this way,” Sharapova said. “I really hope I will be given another chance to play this game.”
Really? How many times were you warned to discontinue use of a substance that was going to be banned?
As a result 3 sponsors have already abandon the tennis star… Nike, Porsche , and Swiss Watch Brand TAG Heuer.
“We are saddened and surprised by the news about Maria Sharapova,” Nike () said in a statement. “We have decided to suspend our relationship with Maria while the investigation continues.”
Automaker Porsche, owned by Volkswagen (), said Tuesday it was postponing all planned sponsorship activities with Sharapova. Swiss watch brand TAG Heuer, part of the LVMH ( ) group, said it was suspending negotiations with the tennis player about renewing a sponsorship deal that ended in December.
Danone (), which owns Evian, said it was surprised by the news and would follow the investigation closely. Cosmetics brand Avon ( ) declined to comment
Sharapova, 28, is currently ranked 7th in the world. A former World No. 1, her 35 singles titles and five Grand Slams ranked third among active players behind Venus and Serena Williams. Sharapova won the French Open twice and Wimbledon, the Australian Open, and the U.S. Open once apiece, making her one of only ten women, and the only Russian woman, to hold the career Grand Slam.
But now if she is suspended for 4 years that put her at 32 four years from now and try to jump start a career in a sport that hits it’s peak not at 32 but considerably younger and you have the makings of a career ending suspension. Ouch! Was it worth it?