Porsche and Nike welcome reduced Sharapova ban

German car manufacturer Porsche is ready to discuss a future collaboration with Maria Sharapova, while fellow sponsor Nike also welcomed the reduction of her two-year doping ban to 15 months.

Sharapova was initially suspended by the International Tennis Federation until January 2018 after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium earlier this year.

However, the Russian maintained that she was unaware meldonium had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list and the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced a reduction in her ban on Tuesday.

Porsche had initially suspended its activities with Sharapova, but is now planning on discussing future projects with the five-time grand slam champion.

“We have taken note of the recently announced final CAS judgment in the case of Maria Sharapova. We welcome the CAS verdict and are delighted for Maria,” a Porsche statement read.

“We have been and still are in close contact with her and, as we have always stressed, have only put our mutual activities on hold over the past months until the final verdict is known.

“No contracts have been terminated. We will be discussing a future collaboration over the next days and weeks.”

American sportswear giant Nike continued its sponsorship with Sharapova in June despite the ITF’s initial ban and also welcomed CAS’ ruling.

“We are pleased that Maria will be back playing the sport she loves in April and look forward to partnering with her and enjoying her continued success on and off the court,” Nike said in a statement.

The backing from Porsche and Nike follows an almost celebratory statement from sporting goods manufacturer Head, who called for wholesale changes to anti-doping processes.

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