MOSCOW: Despite Maria Sharapova being banned from tennis for two years, pending an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, both her major sponsors Nike and Head have said they will stand by the Russian tennis player.
Sharapova has been banned for failing a drug test earlier in the year – if her appeal fails she will not be eligible to play until January 2018.
Both brands, particularly racket sponsor Head, took issue with the International Tennis Federation’s handling of the case, saying Sharapova did not intentionally break the rules.
Other brands have left the five time grand slam winner though, Tag Heuer broke off its agreement with the star, and Porsche has suspended any activities.
Forbes said that Sharapova earned around $25m in 2015, and that the case could cost her anything up to $50 million over the next two years, in lost prize money, sponsorship and legal fess.