UN agency stops work with ambassador Maria Sharapova

FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, file photo, Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates after defeating Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia. Sharapova's racket supplier became the first main sponsor to publicly back the five-time Grand Slam champion after she admitted to failing a doping test. Austria-based company Head announced Thursday, March 10, 2016, it was planning to extend its sponsorship deal, three days after Sharapova revealed her use of the banned substance meldonium. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)
AP

GENEVA (AP) A United Nations agency says it has stopped working with Maria Sharapova pending the tennis star's doping case.

Sharapova faces being banned by tennis authorities after testing positive for meldonium, a blood-flow enhancing medication.

The New York-based United Nations Development Program says ''in light of Ms. Sharapova's recent announcement, we last week suspended her role as a Goodwill Ambassador and any planned activities while the investigation continues.''

The UNDP ''remains grateful to Maria Sharapova for her support of our work, especially around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster recovery.''

Since 2007, Sharapova has been an ambassador for the agency which works to combat poverty and inequality.

Her charitable foundation worked with the UNDP to fund education scholarships for people from Chernobyl-affected areas of Belarus.