Maria Sharapova’s $500K Business in Jeopardy Due To Health Concerns

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By Lou Imperial | July 30, 2014 8:40 AM EST

Maria Sharpova 2014 has been nothing short of spectacular. Not only did she win her fifth Grand Slam title at French Open this year, blessings have also been pouring on for her off the tennis court.

REUTERS
Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return to compatriot Ksenia Pervak during their women's singles match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 26, 2014.

The 27-year old Sharapova and candy veteran Jeff Rubin launched the Sugarpova brand worldwide in 2013 through Rubin's IT'SUGAR and Selfridges candy chains. The candy brand gained tremendous success as it has already introduced a number of flavours in a short span of time.

Sharapova's success took a notch higher when it generated buzz at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships after Sharapova and her partners opened Sugarpova Candy lounge shop in London on Wimbledon High Street. According to reports, the Russian shelled out $500,000 in her new business venture.

However, Sugarpova's strong upward momentum could be halted by an emerging threat from the UK Parliament, which is reportedly looking to get rid of the tennis star's sweets because it doesn't promote healthy living.

Keith Vaz, chair of the home affairs select committee and Labour MP, believed athletes like Sharapova should have been promoting the other way around instead of catering the market with calories-loaded candies.

"All sportsmen and women are supposed to promote a healthy life style. A brand like Sugarpova encourages a large and excessive consumption of sugar," Vaz told the Guardian via Tennis Earth.

London King's College professor Tom Sanders also joined the Anti-Sugarpova movement by calling out athletes to start becoming a role model for healthy lifestyle.

"Athletes haven't been allowed to endorse and promote cigarettes 30 years ago. It's time to take action towards those who try to promote an unhealthy food consumption and therefore unhealthy life style."

If the UK Parliament continues to gain backers, Sharapova's Sugarpova business could be in a big jeopardy in the United Kingdom, where it recorded strong market sales.

For now, Sharapova has to put her focus in the upcoming North American hard court season after a disappointing result last year. Bothered with a shoulder injury, the Russian decided to skip the 2013 US Open championship in Flushing Meadows, New York.

Prior to his 2013 absence, Sharapova had a string of early round eliminations in the hard-court Grand Slam tourney before she reached the semis of the 2012 US Open.

Sharapova is expected to be among the favourites to win the Grand Slam tourney along with reigning champion and world's no.1 Serena Williams, rising star Eugenie Bouchard, Simona Halep and Li Na.

For more Maria Sharapova news, read more at IBT Sports

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(Photo: REUTERS / Gonzalo Fuentes)
Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return to compatriot Ksenia Pervak during their women's singles match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 26, 2014.
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