Isinbayeva to Sign $7.5M Contract

RALEIGH, North Carolina -- Russian Olympic champion and pole vault world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva has agreed to a multimillion-dollar contract with China's largest sportswear retailer Li Ning, several sources said.

The agreement, worth $1.5 million annually for five years according to a person with knowledge of the offer, is significant because of the amount of money and the entry of a Chinese company into the athletics-marketing world with a high-profile athlete.

"There is no athlete on the track circuit that earns that kind of money," said a person familiar with the negotiations.

That includes the base contract for Jamaican double sprint world record holder Usain Bolt, the source said. "It is out of sync in regards to the track market."

Wang Shiyong of Li Ning's branding department said, however, that no deal had been finalized.

"I cannot confirm it at this moment," he said. "It is under negotiation."