Soccer star Ronaldo is suing a Chinese drug company for using his image in a television commercial without his authorization, reports said Friday.
The ads showing Ronaldo, who is on the verge signing on with AC Milan, were broadcast on national television after a 2003 visit to China by the player with his present team, Real Madrid.
Ronaldo has complained that the image was used without his permission and plans to sue, the state-run newspaper Beijing Youth Weekend and other reports said.
The prime-time ads are also shown by local broadcasters. The ads show a grinning Ronaldo holding up a packet of Golden Throat Lozenges.
Calls to the company, Guangxi Golden Throat Group, based in southwestern China's Guangxi region, were not answered Friday.
The Brazilian striker could not immediately be contacted for comment. Ronaldo traveled Thursday to Milan for a medical exam that will decide if he will move to the Italian team, reports AP.
The Chinese reports said local lawyers had been hired to collect evidence, and that the soccer star would take legal action next month.
According to the state-run newspaper China Daily, Guangxi Golden Throat has defended its use of Ronaldo's image.