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CANBERRA (Reuters Life!) - A hard-hitting poster showing an athlete injecting a prohibited substance is at the center of a new Australian anti-doping awareness campaign, with the warning "You can never win your reputation back."
Australian Sports Minister Kate Ellis Monday launched the campaign aimed at both young, up-and-coming athletes and elite sportsmen and women.
"This confronting poster sends the important message to athletes that doping is never okay and that your reputation, once lost, is something you can never get back," said Ellis.
"Doping can ruin an athlete's health but it can be just as damaging for an athlete's reputation and ultimately has the potential to end careers."
Australian Olympic and World Champion rower Amber Halliday and Paralympic swimmer and world record holder Matthew Cowdrey are among several athletes named as Campaign Ambassadors.
"I can relate to the pressure young athletes are under while trying to carve out a career in sport," said Halliday, who has moved into cycling following her rowing career.
"This campaign highlights the fact that no matter how good athletes get, no matter how many races they win or goals they score, it will all come crashing down if they have cheated through doping."
The "You can never win your reputation back" campaign will run through June and July and encourages Australians to visit the anti-doping website (www.asada.gov.au).
Reporting by Michael Perry