Maria Sharapova Faces Backlash Over Candy Business ‘Sugarpova’

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By Rachelle Corpuz | July 9, 2014 10:03 AM EST

Russian tennis darling Maria Sharapova has been panned and berated again for choosing to sponsor unhealthy products in her premium candy business venture Sugarpova.

A critic who works for the Huffington Post has condemned Sharapova for promoting unhealthy candies that can cause "obesity and spots." According to Mr. Neil Gibbs, Sharapova could have opted to have a partnership with a company that offers hale and hearty products, instead of market a product like Sugarpova. He said it is puzzling why Sharapova, who is known as one of the most physically fit athletes in the world, has chosen to endorse candies.

REUTERS
Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return during her women's singles tennis match against Angelique Kerber of Germany at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London July 1, 2014.

"Why would a woman who has made her fortune through a combination of being very fit and looking good wish to peddle a product that is known to cause obesity and spots?" He had hoped that Sharapova could have rejected unhealthy endorsements or at the very least, encourage healthy eating. "She could endorse muesli or whatever concoctions she eats so she can perform like a cross between a tiger and gazelle on court."

"(Expletive), she could just endorse healthy eating for the hell of it."

This wouldn't be the first time that Sharapova has been criticised for promoting her premium candy brand Sugarpova. In 2013, she also received criticisms from World Obesity Forum. The critics said that it Sharapova encourages an unhealthy lifestyle to her supporters. "Maria promoting her sugary sweets is okay but only if she makes it clear that you can only eat sweets like that every day and look like her if you are playing tennis 16 hours a day," Tam Fry, a member of the National Obesity Forum, told Reuters.

Corrina Langelaan, campaigns manager for The Parents' Jury, an organisation which crusades for responsible advertising and promotion of food told news.com.au that it was reckless for Sharapova to promote candies during this era that obesity in children is escalating. "She has a role to play in promoting healthy lifestyles and, with childhood obesity on the rise globally, spruiking a confectionary range smacks of irresponsible marketing."

Sharapova once said in an interview that she wasn't really encouraging everyone to binge on her candies. "Of course, sugar is meant to be bad for you but my philosophy has always been everything in moderation."

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(Photo: REUTERS / Max Rossi)
Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return during her women's singles tennis match against Angelique Kerber of Germany at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London July 1, 2014.
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