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Olympic doping at heart of GlaxoSmithKline’s first UK corporate campaign

Pharma company is first private firm to have responsibility for drug testing during Games

GSK Olympic Games campaign
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will raise awareness of its role in anti-doping measures at the London 2012 Olympic Games as part of its first consumer-facing corporate campaign.

The pharma company is working in partnership with the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and King's College London (KCL) to provide a 24-hour doping service at its laboratory in Harlow, which aims to test half of all competing athletes for banned substances.

It is the first private company to have responsibility for drug testing during the Olympic Games, with the service previously provided by the International Olympic Committee with the World Anti-Doping Agency and the national authority of the hosting country.

GSK claimed it will be the largest anti-doping programme every carried out at the Olympics and said it would involve a workforce of 1,000 people testing 400 samples a day.

The company's marketing campaign, which will feature such British Olympic and Paralympic athletes as triple jumper Phillips Idowu and sprinter Marlon Devonish, will “highlight the role that science will play in keeping the London 2012 Games clean”, GSK said.

Advertisements will appear across a range of media, including television, from today (July 16), and outdoor advertising space, commencing July 23.

An image of Graham Edmunds, a gold medal-winning Paralympic swimmer, will also appear on the side of GSK's headquarters in Brentford.

“Our contribution to the London 2012 Games, through our partnership with LOCOG and King's, is to help ensure that every medal winner can celebrate their athletic achievement in the knowledge they have won through a fair competition,” said Phil Thompson, senior VP, global communications at GSK.

“Our advertising campaign aims to showcase the hard work, determination and natural ability that is central to each athlete's performance.”

Jonathan Harris, head of anti-doping at the Organising Committee for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said: “GSK have been instrumental in providing services to help us deliver the anti-doping programme for the Games and with their help we have a state of the art laboratory with the ability to process a record number of tests during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

16th July 2012


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