Bianca Andreescu gives Nike a dressing down at US Open before issuing apology
With the top ranking in the women’s game, Adidas has a lot riding on the shoulders of its top star. Andreescu is the most decorated women’s tennis player in US Open history, but in the past she has caused problems for her employers.
Last month Andreescu was suspended from the tennis tour after reportedly refusing to take the drug hydroxychloroquine, which she has previously used to treat a bacterial infection. While she later publicly apologized for her behavior, Andreescu wasn’t the first athlete to fall foul of the US Anti-Doping Agency over doping. In 2017, cyclist Lance Armstrong was banned from the sport for life after winning the Tour de France in 2006 and 2007 while taking a cocktail of banned substances. Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs that caused a host of illnesses.
Nike has taken a stance on anti-doping throughout the history of its association with US tennis women’s team. They became the world’s biggest sportswear sponsor in 1984, the same year the USTA began to sponsor women’s tennis tournaments, and have made significant contributions to US women’s tennis and women’s sports in general. In 2018, they announced a collaboration with Adidas, their sister company, designed to enable athletes to enhance their performance through performance technology.
“We are proud of Bianca and the tremendous support for tennis and women’s tennis from Nike,” USTA CEO Pamela McClintock said in a statement. “Bianca has a great deal of respect for the organization and for the USTA and we look forward to working together at The Championships to support our players and the USTA in continued efforts to create a more inclusive, world class sport.”
Andreescu can next play at China’s WTA Premier Tennis tournament from 23 to 27 October in Beijing. Andreescu will next make the trip to play in the Premier 5 series of tournaments, where she’ll be seeded No. 2 behind Angelique Kerber of Germany, and could earn entry into any of the top-level tournaments she wants.