But despite Sharapova, the world's highest earning sportswoman, confronting a potentially career-ending ban, industry insiders insist that the sport can ride out the storm.

"The Maria Sharapova doping story, whilst not ideal for the sport, is certainly not damaging enough to really affect tennis in the same way as we saw perhaps with cycling or sprinting," Jon Stainer, managing director of sports sponsorship experts Repucom.
     
"In both those cases, doping was being carried out by a number of athletes for a sustained period," he added.

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