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After Nike, Swiss watchmaker TAGHeuer cuts ties with Maria Sharapova

Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer said on Tuesday it won’t renew its association with brand ambassador Maria Sharapova, after the Russian tennis star said she had failed a drug test during the Australian Open. Their association began in 2004.

tennis Updated: Mar 08, 2016 18:30 IST
Swiss watchmaker TAGHeuer said it won’t renew its association with brand ambassador Maria Sharapova, after the Russian tennis star said she had failed a drug test during the Australian Open.
Swiss watchmaker TAGHeuer said it won’t renew its association with brand ambassador Maria Sharapova, after the Russian tennis star said she had failed a drug test during the Australian Open.(Getty Images)

Swiss watchmaker TAGHeuer said on Tuesday it won’t renew its association with brand ambassador Maria Sharapova, after the Russian tennis star said she had failed a drug test during the Australian Open. Their association began in 2004.

Global sports apparel giant Nike has also suspended ties with Sharapova following the revelations.

Read | Nike suspends ties with Maria Sharapova after doping announcement

“Maria Sharapova was under contract with TAGHeuer 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 unit of French luxury goods group LVMH said in a statement.

Sharapova disclosed at a news conference on Monday that she had been taking a drug named Meldonium for over a decade for health reasons.

Read | All you need to know about the drug that brought down Maria Sharapova

But the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned the drug from January 1, 2016.

Sharapova, the World No.7, said she didn’t notice that the drug was banned by the WADA.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said on its website on Monday that the 28-year-old would be provisionally banned from March 12. The usual ban for first-time offenders is two years.

The failed drug test came on January 26 -- after Sharapova lost to Serena Williams in the quarter-finals -- and she was charged with an anti-doping violation on March 2, the governing body additionally said.

Read more:

Maria Sharapova deserves credit for coming clean on doping

Russia tennis chief still expects Sharapova to play at Rio Olympics