Former tennis world No 1 Maria Sharapova has been suspended as a goodwill ambassador by the United Nations after admitting she tested positive for the banned substance meldonium at this year’s Australian Open.
The UN Development Programme (UNDP), which Sharapova became a goodwill ambassador of in February 2007, suspended the Russian until the outcome of the investigation into her case is known.
Sharapova’s work with the UN focused mainly on helping survivors of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, but links to her profile on the UN’s official website (www.un.org) were not working on Tuesday.
“The UNDP remains grateful to Maria Sharapova for her support of our work, especially around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster recovery,” Britain’s Guardian newspaper quoted a UN spokesperson as saying.
“However, in light of Ms Sharapova’s recent announcement, we last week suspended her role as a goodwill ambassador and any planned activities while the investigation continues.”