In a quirky turn of events, 28-year old Russian tennis legend and former WTA number one Maria Sharapova has just revealed in a “mea culpa” press conference she just failed a doping test at the Australian Open.
We’re feeling mildly sorry for the tennis star – there are mixed feelings to be had about athletes that go a step beyond the “law” to make sure they have top notch performance (but that’s an entirely different debate) but what interests us more is the fact that Sharapova is one of the brand ambassadors for the famous German sports car manufacturer Porsche. And the funny thing is that Porsche is part of the Volkswagen Group – you know, the German automaker that has shamed the entire automotive industry when it succumbed to the world famous Dieselgate scandal after reveals that its engines have failed their own “doping” tests.
“I have been taking a medicine called mildronate by my doctor, my family doctor, and a few days ago after I received the letter from the ITF [International tennis Federation] I found out it also has another name of meldonium, which I did not know,” commented Maria Sharapova for the BBC. The latter substance is now illegal – though she had been taking it legally for close to a decade for various health problems.
We’re expecting the reveal to have a massive impact on the tennis player, but for now we don’t know if her relationship with the Zuffenhausen automaker will suffer – though it would hardly be a surprise since she’s been one of the most important and famous brand ambassadors for the German brand.