Australia's Sportsbet under fire over 'juiced-up' Ben Johnson ad campaign
Sportsbet, the Australian online bookmaker, is under fire for using Ben Johnson, the disgraced Canadian sprinter who was at the centre of one of sport’s biggest doping scandals at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, in an advertising campaign.
The campaign makes free use of doping terminology to promote what it terms a “juiced-up” phone app with “performance-enhancing” capabilities.
It also uses the tagline “putting the roid into Android,” (the word ‘roid’ is more usually associated with steroids, the drugs for which Johnson tested positive at the games.
Greg Hunt, Australia’s federal sports minister, has called for the advertisement to be dropped, saying: “To use a known drug cheat such as Ben Johnson to advertise [Sportsbet’s] product is utterly inappropriate.”
Johnson is reported to have been paid more than A$200,000 to appear in the advertisement.