Ben Johnson ad 'completely wrong': ASADA

Here an Eastern European weightlifter can be seen easily lifting an obscene amount of weight with very little effort

The Australian sports anti-doping authority was not amused after viewing a TV ad featuring former disgraced Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson that made "light of the use of performance-enhancing drugs".

The "juiced-up" Android app has been "testing positive for speed and power, again and again", it continues.

Dave Culbert, a former Olympic long jumper, said the ad was "pretty amusing", but acknowledged that many professional athletes would be upset that a convicted drug cheat could be paid so much to appear in an advertisement.

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.

Other than the campaign's title "Putting the Roid in Android" remark, references to drug use are littered throughout the ad as Johnson is introduced with: "When it comes to performance enhancement, Ben really knows his stuff".

Australia's federal sports minister Greg Hunt called the use of Johnson "utterly inappropriate", while independent senator Nick Xenophon wants the country's media watchdog, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, to take action.

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"It is just wrong on so many levels, glorifying a drug cheat, tying it in with gambling and promoting it to kids in a lighthearted way".

Outspoken Australian Olympic 400m freestyle champion Mack Horton, who sparked controversy at the Rio Olympics by calling a Chinese rival a "drug cheat", was also disapproving.

Sportsbet, in turn, has held firm to the ad, saying it's only a joke.

"We make no apologies for injecting some humor into advertising", Sportsbet PR manager Christian Jantzen told HuffPost Australia.

But Sportsbet, based in Australia, stands behind its advertising campaign, according to the Guardian.

The Australian government announced earlier this month that it will look to ban all gambling related advertisements during live sports broadcasts taking place before the established industry watershed of 8:30pm.

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