PepsiCo has denied any link between its decision to drop its Gatorade Tiger Focus drink and the current media speculation surrounding the private life of the product's inspiration, golfer Tiger Woods.

PepsiCo confirmed today (9 December) that is to withdraw the Gatorade Tiger Focus sports drink from sale.

However, a spokesperson for the soft drinks giant denied that the move was related to a series of damaging press reports on Tiger Woods.

"As reported last month, we decided several months ago to discontinue Gatorade Tiger Focus along with some other products to make room for our planned series of innovative products in 2010."

She added: "We hope to share more about our 2010 plans soon."

PepsiCo signed a multi-year licensing deal with Tiger Woods in 2007. It launched Gatorade Tiger in 2008 and said other co-branded products would follow.

But, Gatorade sales have struggled in the last 12 months and PepsiCo has been preparing for several months to reposition the brand early in 2010.

Speculation has swirled around the PepsiCo decision amid reports that sponsors of Woods, who has won 14 majors in golf, have become nervous over the loss of his squeaky clean image.

In the last two weeks, Woods has admitted to "transgressions" in his private life, following a wave of speculation that he has had at least one extra-marital affair. Yesterday, Woods' mother-in-law was taken ill and rushed to hospital from his home.

PepsiCo's decision to end its deal with Woods was first reported before the current swathe of media reports into his private life.