SAS Australia: Outrage over 'Cocaine Cassie's' gig: 'Ridiculous'

The divisive 2023 line-up for SAS Australia has been announced.

It’s one of the most divisive shows on Australian TV, with audiences left captivated by the tough challenges a range of celebrities are forced to endure. And this year SAS Australia hasn’t shied away from casting some controversial faces to their line-up, with convicted drug smuggler Cassie Sainsbury amongst the new recruits.

Cassie became known as ‘Cocaine Cassie’ after she was convicted of smuggling 5.8kg of cocaine in 18 packages of headphones in Colombia in 2017. She was sentenced to six years in Colombia’s harsh El Buen Pastor prison but was released in 2020 after only serving three years.

Cocaine Cassie in front of 18 packages of cocaine
'Cocaine Cassie' has been announced as part of the 2023 line-up for SAS Australia. Photo: AAP

Now, she’ll join the likes of world champion boxer Anthony Mundine, actor Craig McLachlan and Balinese princess Lindy Klim on Channel 7’s controversial reality TV show.

However, fans of the show online were left less than impressed with the announcement.

SAS Australia: Cocaine Cassie is one of 14 new contestants, surely Chanel 7 can do better than making a cocaine convict a celeb in a TV show?” one person wrote.


“Cocaine Cassie is on this season of SAS Australia. Like I didn't see that coming,” another said.

“This is ridiculous. We should not be putting someone convicted of a crime up on a pedestal calling them a celebrity,” a Twitter user wrote.

2023 SAS Australia recruits
The 2023 recruits will be put through their paces in the Middle East. Photo: Channel 7

This year, the celebrities travelled to a secret base in the Middle East to be put through their paces.

“The celebrities will be pushed beyond their limits like never before, as they’re subjected to extreme physical endurance, sleep deprivation, interrogation and psychological testing in unforgiving, dramatic terrain. Some will reach breaking point and withdraw,” Channel 7 said.

Here is a full list of the 2023 recruits:

Abbey Holmes, 32 – AFL Field Commentator

Anthony Mundine, 47 – World Champion Boxer

Boyd Cordner, 30 – Retired NRL Star

Cassie Sainsbury, 28 – Convicted Drug Smuggler

Dr Craig Challen, 57 – Thai Cave Rescue Hero

Craig McLachlan, 57 – Actor

Jason Akermanis, 46 – AFL Hall of Famer

Lindy Klim, 45 – Balinese Princess

Mahalia Murphy, 29 – International Rugby Star

Matthew Mitcham, 35 – Olympic Gold Diver

Peter Bol, 29 – Olympic Runner

Stephanie Rice, 34 – Olympic Gold Swimmer

Tim Robards, 40 – OG Bachelor

Zima Anderson, 25 – Actress

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