Several of Maria Sharapova’s main sponsors have confirmed that they are standing by her.
The sports clothing firm Nike said it will continue sponsoring her, as will racket provider Head and bottled water company Evian.
This despite the International Tennis Federation stopping her playing for two years after she tested positive for the banned drug meldonium.
The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme has found that Maria Sharapova committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation https://t.co/xFcbXqCmZD— ITF (@ITF_Tennis) June 8, 2016
Read the full decision here (PDF)
In a post on Facebook the Russian champion said the Federation’s tribunal had unanimously concluded that what she did was “not intentional”.
Nike echoed that sentiment in their statement, as did Evian, while Head said the decision to ban her was based on a “flawed process”.
BREAKING: Nike has just lifted its suspension of Maria Sharapova's endorsement deal pic.twitter.com/U6CmADtakv— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 8, 2016
Head announces it will stand by endorser Maria Sharapova pic.twitter.com/ouhqRebDaN— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 8, 2016
Adding Evian along with Nike and Head 🙂👍🏻💦 pic.twitter.com/wiKkYOOGSy— Team Sharapova (@team_sharapova) June 9, 2016
Two other sponsors – watchmaker Tag Heuer and luxury car company Porsche are sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what happens with Sharapova’s appeal against the ban.
She is estimated to have earned around $200 million (175 million euros) from sponsorship deals during her career.