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EA to stand by Tiger Woods

Publisher's relationship with billionaire sports star "unchanged" following personal issues

Electronic Arts is to stand by shamed golf star Tiger Woods, following the public apology made to his family over personal "transgressions".

Woods, who was the first golfer to hit the USD 1 billion career earnings mark three months ago, has been surrounded by a frenzy of speculation since he was admitted to hospital following a car accident outside his home in Florida at the weekend.

Initially the star criticised "malicious" and "irresponsible" rumours that then circulated about his personal life, but performed a U-turn yesterday with a statement posted on his website.

"I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart," read part of the text. "I have not been true to my values and the behaviour my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behaviour and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone."

However, despite further speculation that several of his lucrative backers might decide to withdraw their financial support following the admission, EA has told GamesIndustry.biz that its relationship with the golfer remains "unchanged".

"Our strong relationship with Tiger for more than a decade remains unchanged," read a statement. "We respect Tiger's privacy, we wish him a fast recovery and we look forward to seeing him back on the golf course."

The Tiger Woods franchise has been one of EA Sports' pillar products over the years, alongside the FIFA and Madden titles.

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