Swiss watch brand TAG Heuer on Tuesday severed ties with five-time tennis Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova after she failed a drug test at the Australian Open in January.
“Maria Sharapova was under contract with TAG Heuer until December 31, 2015. We had been in talks to extend our collaboration. In view of the current situation, the Swiss watch brand has suspended negotiations and has decided not to renew the contract,” the company said in a statement.
#BREAKING Tennis: TAG Heuer says will not renew Sharapova contract – statement
— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 8, 2016
The move comes a day after Nike suspended its relationship with Sharapova.
Sharapova, 28 announced at a press conference Monday that she tested positive for the drug Meldonium at the Australian Open. Sharapova said she did not look at the updated list of banned substances she received in December.
“It is very important for you to understand that for 10 years this medicine was not on the WADA banned list and I had legally been taking the medicine for the past 10 years. But on January 1 the rules had changed and meldonium became a prohibited substance which I had not known.” she said.
Sharapova went on to say she had been getting the flu every couple months, had irregular EKGs and had evidence of diabetes, which runs in her family. She said that when WADA sent an email about changes to the banned list in December, she did not click on the link to see that the substance had been added to the list.
Nike said it was “saddened and surprised” at her admission that she tested positive for a banned substance at the Australian Open in January.
“We have decided to suspend our relationship with Maria while the investigation continues,” the company said.
Sharapova extended her Nike deal in 2010. The eight-year deal was reportedly worth as much as $70 million, including royalties. She also has a five-year contract with Evian, a three-year deal with Porsche and has her own candy business ‘Sugarpova’.
Sharapova won her first grand slam as a 17-year-old at Wimbledon in 2004 and has since landed the 2006 U.S. Open title, the 2008 Australian Open and the French Open twice, in 2012 and 2014.
She is the highest-paid female athlete in world sport for the last 11 years, according to Forbes.
2 of Maria Sharapova's top sponsors suspend ties with Russian tennis star after she admits to failing drug test https://t.co/D8Mxz7bgEX
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 8, 2016