So what’s gonna happen to tennis star Maria Sharapova?
The business world made its voice known after the world’s richest female athlete and five-time Grand Slam winner (net worth estimated at $195 million) announced Monday that she tested positive for an illegal heart drug, meldonium.
Nike suspended its relationship with the 28-year-old golden girl just hours after the news broke. On Tuesday, the Swiss watch company Tag Heuer severed ties with tennis star, and Porsche suspended its deal.
Other sponsors, including American Express, Evian and Avon, apparently were considering their positions.
But FOX News points out that a key word is “suspend.”
Known for loyalty, Nike stood by Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and Ben Roethlisberger through arguably worse times and even re-signed Michael Vick after dumping him following his incarceration on dog fighting charges.
Observers are saying the freezeout won’t last unless the story becomes bigger than one drug test, thanks to Sharapova’s media savvy, beauty and privilege.
Her fellow athletes have been supportive, too, except Jennifer Capriati, who tweeted, “I’m extremely angry and disappointed. I had to lose my career and never opted to cheat no matter what. I had to throw in the towel and suffer.”
DWTS SEASON 22
“Dancing With the Stars” is coming up on Season 22.
Beginning March 22 on ABC, here’s the new lineup (presented in a format for challenged viewers who can’t tell the “stars” from the dance pros).
From the TV world come “The OC” alum Mischa Barton with Artem Chigvintsev; “Real Housewives of Atlanta’s” Kim Fields with Sasha Farber; “Fuller House’s” Jodie Sweetin with Keo Motsepe, “Good Morning America’s” Ginger Zee with Val Chmerkovskiy; “America’s Next Top Model” winner Nyle DiMarco with Peta Murgatroyd, and host Geraldo Rivera with Edyta Sliwinska.
Sports figures include former NFL player Doug Flutie with Karina Smirnoff; Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller with Witney Carson; Pittsburgh Steelers’ Antonio Brown with Sharna Burgess; and UFC fighter Paige VanZant with Mark Ballas.
Rounding out the group: Boyz II Men singer Wanya Morris with Lindsey Arnold and Donald Trump’s ex-wife Marla Maples with Tony Dovolani.
American Express’ “Fan Van” will be at Off the Grid at Fifth and Minna streets from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, and word has it that a notable Golden State Warrior (whose initials are J.R.) legend may be in attendance. …
Rapper Bow Wow is 29. … San Jose Shark Brent Burns is 31. … Actor Matthew Gray Gubler is 36. … Actor Oscar Isaac is 37. … Actor Emmanuel Lewis is 45. … Actress Juliette Binoche is 52. … Actress Linda Fiorentino is 58. … Singer Jeffrey Osborne is 68. … Rocker Robin Trower is 71. … Singer Mickey Gilley is 80. … Novelist Herbert Gold is 92.
— Wire reports
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