Endurox R4, the latest sports drink produced by PacificHealth Laboratories, received a rebuff of Olympic proportions yesterday when the organisers of the world's greatest athletics tournament pulled the plug on its first advertising campaign.PacificHealth accused the US Olympic Committee (USOC) of using "strongarm tactics" in persuading the newspaper USA Today to drop its full-page advertisement offering free samples of the drink to athletes competing at the Games in Sydney, Australia. Chairman and CEO of PacificHealth Laboratories, Dr Robert Portman, said in a statement that the ad was "consistent with copy guidelines regarding product advertising and the Olympics" and had been cleared by the USA Today lawyers. Endurox R4 purports to enhance stamina and endurance and, as a nutritional beverage, has shown to improve muscle recovery after strenuous exercise in clinical trials, Dr Portman claims.The company's embarrassment was also shared by Beverage Online Newsletter yesterday after managing editor, Judy Rice, highlighted the product in her weekly update to subscribers. She called the promotion "clever and conscientious" and concluded: "For PacificHealth, it looks like a win-win situation."A spokesman for the USOC declined to comment on the affair.