Ben Johnson ad draws criticism from anti-doping officials

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Disraced Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson starred in an ad for an Australian sports-betting website that upset Australia’s anti-doping agency.

The Canadian Johnson won the 1988 Olympic 100m but was stripped of gold three days later, having tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid stanozolol.

In the 90-second ad published last week, Johnson “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 Sports Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA) said in a statement.

The ad lists Johnson as the 1988 Olympic 100m champion (for 48 hours*). He says the sports-betting website’s app “tested positive for speed and power, again and again.”

The ad also included actors casted as what appear to be an American cyclist, an East Asian swimmer and a European weightlifter.

“This advertising campaign belittles the achievements of clean athletes and denigrates those who work to protect clean sport across the world,” ASADA said.

ASADA said it lodged a complaint “to the relevant authority.”

The sports-betting website reportedly said it has “no plans to pull the adverts from air – we’ve received overwhelmingly positive support from the public and they see it for what it is, a tongue-in-cheek joke.”

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Yuzuru Hanyu to miss Japan Figure Skating Championships

Yuzuru Hanyu
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Yuzuru Hanyu, the reigning Olympic and world figure skating champion, will miss his national championships this week after suffering ankle and knee injuries this fall, according to Japanese media citing the Japan Skating Federation.

Hanyu can (and very likely will) be named to Japan’s three-man Olympic team despite missing nationals.

Hanyu has reportedly been off the ice for more than one month since a Nov. 9 practice fall.

“It is an important selection competition, and the Olympics are a big goal, so with that in mind we would like to think things through together,” Japan Skating Federation director Yoshiko Kobayashi said last week, according to Kyodo News.

Hanyu, who turned 23 on Dec. 7, fell on a quadruple Lutz attempted and then favored his right ankle in a Nov. 9 practice at a Grand Prix event (video here).

He skated the run-through for his free skate, although he elected not to do any more jumps.

“I have been told by the doctor that I need 10 days of complete rest,” Hanyu said in a statement on Nov. 12, according to Kyodo. “Following that, it will take three to four weeks to return and get back to where I was.”

Hanyu and world silver medalist Shoma Uno are favored to lead Japan’s Olympic men’s figure skating team. The third spot is likely to go to Takahito Mura or Keiji Tanaka.

Hanyu competed twice this season.

He posted a world-record short program score in his debut at a small September event in Canada, but struggled to fifth place in the free skate and finished second overall behind two-time world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain.

He then finished second to U.S. champion Nathan Chen at the first Grand Prix event of the season in Moscow in October.

Chen is the only undefeated male singles skater this season.

Hanyu won four straight national titles before missing last season’s event with the flu.

He was still named to Japan’s team for worlds, where he won his second title in four years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Green Bay Packers pull another Olympic sport TD celebration

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We’re halfway to a decathlon of Olympic sport touchdown celebrations over the last two seasons.

After the hurdles, the long jump, the bobsled and the relay came the race walk on Sunday.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, once part of a three-man bobsled team, led three other teammates in a race walk after scoring in Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. (Adams later left the game with a concussion.)

Adams won the race walk, which was much, much shorter than the standard Olympic distances of 20km and 50km, over teammates Jordy NelsonRandall Cobb and Geronimo Allison.

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