Maria Sharapova may get a second chance with Nike.
The sportswear brand dropped the tennis star’s brand ambassadorship after she failed a doping test at January’s Australian Open. However, Nike’s global brand head Trevor Edwards hinted on Wednesday that Sharapova, 28, could be resigned.
“Each time those situations happen, you are saddened and disappointed,” Edwards said at a New York event, according to Fortune. “At the same time, there are many athletes that inspire us.”
The former world No. 1 in singles tested positive for Meldonium, a drug that can help an athlete’s endurance and rehabilitation. It had not been a banned substance in the tennis world until this year.
[BRIGHTCOVE “20992325” “” “peoplenow” “no” ]
“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,” Edwards added.
During a news conference in Los Angeles Monday, Sharapova revealed she had taken the recently banned drug for the past decade. “I did fail the test and I take full responsibility for it,” she shared.
Fellow tennis athletes Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki previously expressed their support for Sharapova, with Williams saying Sharapova showed “a lot of courage and heart” in making the announcement.
The International Tennis Federation has made the decision to suspend Sharapova.