Sportsbet under fire for new commercial featuring disgraced sprinter Ben Johnson

Sports betting giants Sportsbet have come under fire for their new commercial featuring disgraced former sprinter Ben Johnson for making light of drug cheats.

Johnson is the face of the bettor's Android app relaunch, accompanied by the slogan 'putting the ROID in Android.'

Along with mocking Johnson himself, the ad targets infamous drug cheat Lance Armstrong, as well as Chinese swimmers and Eastern European weightlifters.

The commercial is filled with tongue-in-cheek references, such as the app 'testing positive for speed and power, again and again.'

'Even the download time is faster, at a record breaking 10 seconds...even faster if you cut corners,' Johnson winks.

Unsurprisingly, the government have failed to find the funny side.

Independent Minister Nick Xenophon is one of the most vocal oppositions to sports betting, and was very outspoken on Sportsbet's new campaign.

'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,' Xenophon said.

He is planning to contact the Australian Communications and Media Authority to demand action be taken.

Federal Sports Minister Greg Hunt also couldn't find humour in the commercial, saying Sportsbet 'should know better'.

'To use a known drug cheat such as Ben Johnson to advertise their product is utterly inappropriate.

They should pull the ad'.

While the powers that be may not like it, fans certainly have, with one person tweeting 'I bloody love this ad!'.

'Cracking job folks!' another said.

Sportsbet released a predictably defiant response to the government's outcries, saying they do 'not condone the use of performance-enhancing drugs.'

'But we make no apologies for injecting some humour into advertising.'

- Daily Mail

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 23 May 2017 12:02:43 Processing Time: 606ms