Maria Sharapova may re-sign with Nike
Maria Sharapova is in talks to re-sign with Nike.
The 28-year-old tennis champion held a lucrative eight-year multi-million pound deal with the sports brand, which was suspended after she failed a drugs test at the Australian Open in January, meaning she is now banned from the sport.
However, the sportswear giant is willing to give her a second chance because she has admitted she made an unintentional mistake.
Speaking to Fortune, Trevor Edwards - the global brand head of Nike - said: "Each time those situations happen, you are saddened and disappointed. At the same time, there are many athletes that inspire us.
"At the end of the day, athletes are humans just like the rest of us, and they have the same frailties that the rest of us have. And sometimes those moments become teaching moments."
Maria admitted to taking the anti-ischemic drug Meldonium - used to increase blood flow to the heart - but claimed she had been legally prescribed it in 2006 by her family doctor to help with her health issues.
However, the drug was outlawed by the World Anti-Doping agency for enhancing performance in January 2016 and she has subsequently been banned from the International Tennis Federation as of last Saturday (12.03.16).
Speaking of her suspension, she said: "It is very important for you to understand that for 10 years this medicine was not on Wada's banned list and I had legally been taking the medicine for the past 10 years.
"But on January 1, the rules had changed and Meldonium became a prohibited substance, which I had not known.
"I was given this medicine by my doctor for several health issues that I was having in 2006. Throughout my long career I have been very open and honest about many things and I take great responsibility and professionalism in my job every single day and I made a huge mistake."