Nike stands by Maria Sharapova despite two-year drug ban

Nike is standing by tennis star Maria Sharapova, even after she was suspended for two years for using a banned drug. Other sponsors are in less of a hurry to restore ties with her.

The sportswear giant, which had previously put its relationship with the athlete on hold, highlighted that an investigation by the International Tennis Federation found that she “did not intentionally break its rules.”

“Maria has always made her position clear, has apologized for her mistake and is now appealing the length of the ban,” Nike (NKE) said in a statement. “Based on the decision of the ITF and their factual findings, we hope to see Maria back on court and will continue to partner with her.”
Sharapova received a two-year suspension on Wednesday from the ITF after testing positive for meldonium, a drug that was recently banned by the organization. Although the ITF said she didn’t purposefully break the rules, it found she was at “very significant fault” for failing to stay abreast of changes to the banned substances list.
Source: CNN NEWS

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