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Australian anti-doping chiefs say new Ben Johnson ad is no laughing matter

The Canadian sprinter is the star of a new ad in Australia.

Ben Johnson in the controversial ad.
Ben Johnson in the controversial ad.
Image: Sportsbet.com.au/Twitter

THE AUSTRALIAN ANTI-doping authority (ASADA) has lodged an official complaint over a new TV ad for betting company Sportsbet which features Olympic drug cheat Ben Johnson.

The campaign, tagged “putting the ‘roid into Android” has also been the subject of complaints from politicians and the sporting community in Australia.

It features Johnson, in his role as a 48-hour Olympic champion, extolling the virtues of having an unfair advantage, along with a number of actors who are not unlike disgraced sports stars.

Source: Sportsbet.com.au/YouTube

However, ASADA do not see the funny side of it.

Acting chief executive Judy Lind said in a statement to the Hearld Sun: “This advert makes light of the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport and sends the completely wrong message that the use of drugs in sport is normal.”

This advertising campaign belittles the achievements of clean athletes and denigrates those who work to protect clean sport across the world.”

She also confirmed it had written to the Australian Communications and Media Authority to complain.

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Steve O'Rourke

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