Maria Sharapova may be provisionally suspended but that has not stopped the tennis star from launching her own chocolate line. The 29-year-old, who founded her candy business in 2012, will launch the brand's first chocolate range later in May.
The bars will go on sale at a number of European retailers on May 15 with talks to create a pop-up Sugarpova store at the Wimbledon Village, close to the legendary All England Club.
The star's new foray into the world of sweets and chocolates could come under scrutiny, with concerns about rising obesity levels, especially among children in European countries.
According to Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum of the UK, sports stars should not be promoting products which they know is unhealthy when consumed in excess.
"Children are consuming three times more sugar than is recommended, and adults twice as much. I have nothing against a treat, but the problem is that treats are now becoming a daily occurrence," Fry said.
However, the Russian is not the only tennis star who is promoting sugary food products. Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki endorses Godiva, while tennis legend Roger Federer has a deal with Lindt chocolates. Women's world number one Serena Williams has been a regular promoter of sports drink Gatorade, while she also was named as one of the faces of the Pepsi challenge a year ago.
According to Fox news, Sharapova's agent at IMG Max Eisenbud declined to comment but in the past, the Russian had stated that she wasn't aiming her products at children and that they should be seen as a treat.
The five-time Grand Slam champion, who was found guilty of failing a doping test at the Australian Open earlier this year, has been provisionally suspended since 12 March for taking banned drug Meldonium. She is set to have a hearing, the date which has not yet been decided.