LOS ANGELES: Despite the recent two-year ban imposed, Nike on Wednesday announced to resume its sponsorship of the Russian Tennis star Maria Sharapova. The US sports goods firm said in a statement issued just hours after Sharapova was banned for two-year that it was lifting a suspension imposed in March after her drug case was first announced. “Maria has always made her position clear, has apologized for her mistake and is now appealing the length of the ban,” the statement said. “Based on the decision of the ITF and their factual findings, we hope to see Maria back on the court and will continue to partner with her.” Sharapova, 29, has vowed to fight the ITF suspension which is threatening to end her career, describing her punishment as “unfairly harsh.” Earlier, International Tennis Federation (ITF) imposed a two-year ban on Maria Sharapova, following her positive test for banned drug meldonium at this year’s Australian Open. Following Sharapova’s admission in March that she had tested positive for meldonium, Nike suspended its contract with five-time Grand Slam champion. According to the officials, they were saddened and surprised when Sharapova admitted for a banned substance resulting in positive at the Australian Open in January.
Source: News Pakistan