Maria Sharapova loses 3 major endorsements in one day after her first bad drug test

Maria Sharapova loses 3 major endorsements in one day after her first bad drug test Mashable We're using cookies to improve your experience. Click Here to find out more. Mashable Mashable Mashable Australia Mashable France Mashable India Mashable UK Sign in Like Follow Follow Mashable see more  > Search Videos Social Media Tech Business Entertainment World Lifestyle Watercooler Shop More Channels Videos Social Media Tech Business Entertainment World Lifestyle Watercooler Shop Company About Us Licensing & Reprints Archive Mashable Careers Contact Contact Us Submit News Advertise Advertise Legal Privacy Policy Terms of Use Cookie Policy Apps iPhone / iPad Android Resources Subscriptions Sites Mashable Shop Job Board Social Good Summit Business Like Follow Follow Maria Sharapova loses 3 major endorsements in one day after her first bad drug test 4.0k Shares Share Tweet Share What's This? Tennis star Maria Sharapova speaks during a news conference in Los Angeles on Monday, March 7, 2016. Sharapova says she has failed a drug test at the Australian Open.Image: Associated press / Damian Dovarganes By Patrick Kulp 2016-03-08 20:36:56 UTC Nike, Porsche and Tag Heuer have all severed ties with Maria Sharapova after the tennis star admitted on Monday that she had failed a drug test at this year's Australian Open. Sharapova, who's estimated to be the world's  highest paid female athlete , said in her announcement that she had been taking the drug meldonium since 2006 for personal health reasons and didn't realize that it had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned substance list in January. Meldonium is used to increase blood flow , particularly for heart patients, and is not approved for use in the United States and most of Europe, though it is prevalent in Eastern Europe.  SEE ALSO: Tennis star Maria Sharapova fails drug test Nike, the Russian tennis icon's highest profile sponsor, was quick to suspend its business relationship with Sharapova the next day, pending the results of an ongoing investigation. "We are saddened and surprised by the news about Maria Sharapova," a company spokesperson said in a statement. "We have decided to suspend our relationship with Maria while the investigation continues. We will continue to monitor the situation.†Swiss luxury watch brand Tag Heuer followed suit with a statement saying the company had decided against renewing Sharapova's endorsement contract — which expired at the end of last year — in light of her announcement. A spokesperson for Volkswagen-owned Porsche also said Tuesday that it would be postponing "planned activities" with Sharapova "until further details are released and we can analyze the situation." The abrupt pause in several long-running lucrative contracts likely comes as a major financial blow to Sharapova, who has long been considered one of the most marketable athletes in professional sports.  While she has never achieved quite the same mainstream name recognition as rival Serena Williams — according to market research firm Q Scores — she is viewed very favorably among the older, higher-income crowd that makes up a disproportionate bulk of the sport's viewership.  That appeal helped her lock down high-profile deals with luxury brands throughout her career. SEE ALSO: Serena Williams is one of the most dominant athletes in any sport, but her paychecks don't show it The 28-year-old Sharapova said in a CNN interview last fall that she first inked a deal with Nike when she was just 11 years old. That partnership, which involves appearing in the sportswear giant's advertising and allowing her name to be used for branded collections, is estimated to be worth $70 million. Sharapova sponsors Evian did not immediately respond to Mashable's request for comment. Avon declined to comment, and American Express said it has no plans to work with Sharapova this year as it did last year. Nike has frequently severed ties with athletes over behavioral problems over the past few years, including Lance Armstrong, Adrian Peterson, Oscar Pistorius and, most recently, Manny Pacquiao. Those high-profile cases came after Nike was widely criticized for standing by Tiger Woods when news broke of his serial infidelities in 2009. Brands have since become quicker to act when an athlete makes the wrong kind of headlines in recent years for fear of the public turning against them if they don’t, according to Whitney Wagoner, director of the University of Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. “There’s a higher sense of risk and sensitivity to stories like this,†Wagoner said. “A company is tying its brand and what its brand stands for and what its brand means to people — they’re tying that to another human being.†Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova poses as she arrives to the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, California on February 28, 2016. / AFP / ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ (Photo credit should read ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ/AFP/Getty I