Los Angeles: Evian has become the latest sponsor to stand by Maria Sharapova following the announcement of her two-year doping ban.
The five-time grand slam champion tested positive for the banned substance meldonium at the Australian Open in January, and was handed the ban on Wednesday.
An independent tribunal appointed by the International Tennis Federation found Sharapova had not intentionally taken a banned drug but that she was using meldonium to enhance performance and bore a significant degree of fault.
Sharapova immediately announced she would be appealing immediately to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, saying in a statement on her Facebook page: “I cannot accept an unfairly harsh two-year suspension.”
Despite the judgment, Nike and HEAD announced on Wednesday they would be standing by Sharapova and now Evian has followed suit.
The bottled water giant said in a statement: “The ITF tribunal concluded that Maria Sharapova’s contravention was not intentional. Following this announcement, Evian has decided to maintain its long-lasting relationship with the champion.”