Australia launches graphic anti-doping advertisement

13:34, May 31, 2010      

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Australian Federal Sport Minister Kate Ellis on Monday said she was unapologetic about a confronting new campaign designed to stamp out drugs in sport.

Sporting clubs and high schools around the country will soon display posters showing an athlete injecting drugs and the stark message: You can never win your reputation back.

"We are not going to sugarcoat the fact that drugs in sport will not be tolerated," Ellis told reporters as she launched the campaign in Canberra.

"We are not apologizing if we make people step back and take notice - that is exactly what we want to do."

Ellis said the campaign did not suggest doping was becoming more common, but it was rather a preventative strategy designed to stop it happening in the first place.

"Sadly, I don't know whether I'll ever be able to stand before you and say there are no drugs in sport," Ellis said.

"But what I can do is say that we are tightening the net to catch people who are out there cheating."

Flanked by Paralympic swimming sensation Matthew Cowdrey, world champion rower turned cyclist Amber Halliday and Western Bulldogs Australian Football League star Robert Murphy, Ellis has issued a stern warning to athletes thinking about using performance enhancing drugs.

"If you are tempted to cheat, and to take drugs and dope in sport, you jeopardize your health, you jeopardize your career and you jeopardize your reputation," she said.

Cowdrey said years of clean competition could be forgotten in an instant, if an athlete was caught cheating just once.

"Reputation is trust, and trust can be built over a number of years, over a number of competitions, but it can be taken away so, so quickly by a silly decision or peer pressure," Cowdrey said.

Cyclist Amber Halliday said using performance-enhancing drugs also disappointed sports fans.

"Once I'm watching someone who has served a ban because they got caught out doing drugs in sport, I can never think that they are credible any more," Cowdrey said.

The new campaign will be rolled out by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority through June and July.



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