Nike, Porsche And Tag Heuer Have All Backed Away From Maria Sharapova After She Admitted To Failing A Drug Test
Tennis champion Maria Sharapova, who I just learned yesterday is not the same person as Anna Kournikova (yes, all blond female Russian tennis players look the same to me), held a serious press conference where she admitted that she got a huge F on a drug test after a banned drug called “meldonium” was found in her system. Maria says that she’s been on that shit, which is legal, since 2006 after a family doctor recommended she take it for a magnesium deficiency. This past January, the World Anti-Doping Agency officially added meldonium (also known as mildronate) to their banned list, because they had evidence that some athletes were using it as a performance enhancing drug. Several athletes have already gotten into trouble from taking it. In January, WADA sent out an email saying what drugs were added to the banned list for 2016. I guess one of meldonium’s side effects is “screws with your ability to read emails,” because Maria admitted to getting the email, but she didn’t read it.
Maria failed the drug test on the same day she lost to Serena Williams at the Australian Open. The International Tennis Federation announced that she’s been provisionally suspended from competing, starting on March 12. They’re going to investigate her ass and if they determine that she took the drug as a performance enhancement, she could get hit with a 4 year ban. Maria getting temporarily suspended is, of course, messing with her money. Maria is one of the highest-earning female athletes and Fortune says she made $23 million from endorsements alone in 2015. Serena, who has more championships, reportedly earned $13 million from endorsements. Several of the brands Maria has deals with have already pressed the pause button on their relationship with her.
Fresh off from trashing their contract with gay hater Manny Pacquiao, Nike announced that they have suspended their contract with Maria. Maria, who is 28 now, supposedly started working with Nike when she was just 11 years old. In 2010, she signed an eight-year contract with Nike that’s worth $70 million not including her cut of sales from her clothing line for them. The BBC says that Tag Heuer and Porsche have also joined Nike in stepping away from Maria Sharapova as she’s investigated for doping up. Maria’s contract with Tag Heuer expired last year, but they were talking to her about renewing. That’s not happening anymore. Her contract with Porsche is up at the end of this year, and they’re not going to talk about renewing their deal with her until the results of that investigation are released.
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the clip of Maria’s press conference yesterday and if you only want to watch a few seconds of it, skip to the 2:28 mark to see her verbally shitting on the carpet by saying, “If I was ever going to announce my retirement, it would probably not be in a Downtown Los Angeles hotel with this fairly ugly carpet.”
I laughed, but if that carpet had a brain and ears, it would probably think to itself, “Trick, now is not the time for you to be coming for me. At least I have a job!”
And I bet that in an office somewhere, the CEO of the company who makes that carpet, watched the press conference live and said, “I bet she’s going to lose a lot of endorsement deals because of this. Let’s help her out by offering her a multi-million dollar contract to be the new face of our carpe— Wait, a minute….. Did she just call our shit ugly? Fuck her!”
But who cares about those low-rent brands. The only brand Maria really needs in her life is Sugarpova!