Maria Sharapova, the tennis superstar currently serving a two year ban from the sport for doping offenses, is headed to Harvard Business School.
Sharapova to take two-week course
On Saturday, the Russian posted a picture on her Twitter and Facebook accounts of her sitting next to a sign for the school, accompanied by a message saying, “Not sure how this happened but Hey Harvard! Can’t wait to start the program!”
Max Eisenbud, the agent of the 29-year-old former world number one, confirmed that Sharapova had enrolled in a two-week course at the prestigious business school. There have been no comments about what classes or courses she will be taking, nor any information on what certification she may achieve. It was confirmed that she will be attending classes on campus though, she will not be doing the course remotely.
There has been no comment from Harvard Business School about their famous new student.
Maria Sharapova – Doping ban
Sharapova is currently appealing her ban, handed down from the International Tennis Federation. She tested positive in January at Australian Open for the substance meldonium. This substance was only prohibited from the begging of 2016 and she claims she didn’t know it had been added to the banned substances list, despite a number of emails and announcements from both the tennis world and WADA, the World Anti Doping Association.
She claims she took the substance because of a family history of heart problems and diabetes.
Maria Sharapova – Business interests
Sharapova was born in Nyagan, Russia but has been a US citizen since 1994. While famous for her tennis, her interest in business is not something new. For many years she has earned more money from outside interests, especially endorsements, than she has from tennis. For the last ten years Forbes has consistently ranked her as the highest earning female sportsperson in the world.
Sharapova has a line of candies called Sugarpova. In 2013, it was reported that she asked to change her entry name in the US Open to Sugarpova, but this was rejected by tennis officials. It is expected that she is looking to extend this to include a number of lifestyle products too.
A two year ban for any professional sportsperson is always going to be difficult. While I have no sympathy for her, she broke the rules and must pay the consequences, she is to be applauded for trying to make the most of her time away from the court.