Former sprinter Ben Johnson, who was stripped of his 100 meter gold medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul after testing positive for a steroid, stars in a new advertisement for a mobile app from Australian betting company Sportsbet and makes light of performance-enhancing drugs.
"It tested positive for speed and power again and again," Johnson says in the ad.
He also describes the app as "faster, if you cut a few corners." The ad ends with the tag line: "Putting the 'roid in Android"
The advertisement also depicts a weightlifter, a swimmer and cyclist – all sports that have seen doping controversies in recent years.
“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,” the Australian Anti-Doping Authority 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.”
Sportsbet said the company has no plans of pulling the ad and has received positive support from the public.