Australian anti-doping agency want Ben Johnson ad removed from the air

The Canadian sprinter stars in a controversial ad on Australian television

BY Daniel Kelly 09:02 Monday 15 May 2017, 9:02 15 May 2017

ASADA, the Australian anti-doping authority has launched a formal complaint over Ben Johnson's role in a promotional campaign for an Australian online bookmaker.

Johnson is best known for winning the 100 metres final at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul before being stripped of the title 48 hours later. The Jamaican-born Canadian is one of the most high-profile drug cheats in history.

In the promotional video, Johnson is seen using the bookmaker's app, which claims to put "the roid into android". A number of other unnamed athletes including a cyclist, weightlifter and swimmer are also shown using the product.

"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", ASADA said in a statement.

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

Despite the backlash to the promotional campaign in Australia, Sportsbet have stated they have no intentions of withdrawing the ad. 

"We’ve received overwhelmingly positive support from the public and they see it for what it is, a tongue-in-cheek joke", a spokesman added. 

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