Confectioners in St. Petersburg have released lollipops made in the image of tennis star Maria Sharapova, who's now at the center of a doping scandal. The candy maker says its new sweets are meant to show support for Sharapova, whose popularity has remained high in Russia, despite international backlash following revelations that she used the banned drug meldonium.
The lollipops' label reads, “100 percent Sharapova and not a trace of meldonium.” According to the news site Life78, the confectioners based their portrait of Sharapova on a photograph taken at the press conference where she admitted to using the banned drug. Candy makers say half the proceeds from the sale of the lollipops will be donated to charities endorsed by Sharapova.
Also on March 15, the United Nations terminated its relationship with Sharapova, who served as a goodwill ambassador for the past nine years.