Sponsors suspend ties with Sharapova after failed drug test

Credit: AP Maria Sharapova of Russia answers questions during a press conference following her fourth round loss to Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama Shuji)

MOSCOW (AP) – Two of Maria Sharapova’s top sponsors have suspended ties with the Russian tennis star after she admitted failing a doping test.

Sportswear giant Nike suspended its sponsorship, saying in a statement that it was “saddened and surprised by the news.” Swiss watch brand TAG Heuer says its deal with the Russian will not be renewed.

TAG Heuer said in a statement that its previous contract with Sharapova had expired at the end of 2015 and it has pulled out of negotiations on a new agreement.

Sharapova, a five-time major winner, on Monday said she failed a test at the Australian Open in January for the banned substance meldonium, a heart medication commonly sold in Eastern Europe. Meldonium was added to the banned list on Jan. 1.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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