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Utopia Talk / Politics / 1yr ban for world #1 player for doping
Sat Mar 02 03:52:46

World number one bridge player handed one-year ban for doping

By Katie Falkingham

BBC Sport

Bridge authorities should look at the sport's "totally unsuitable" anti-doping rules after world number one Geir Helgemo was banned for a year, says the Monaco Bridge Federation.

Helgemo, who is Norwegian but represents Monaco in the card game, tested positive for banned substances Clomifene - a female fertility drug - and synthetic testosterone.

His ban will expire on 20 November.

The Monaco Bridge Federation said it "regrets" Helgemo's sanction.

"Experience shows that anti-doping regulation cannot be applied without discernment to the brain sport of mind games," the federation's president, Gilbert Vivaldi, told BBC Sport.

"Do you think testosterone levels can seriously influence intellectual performance?

"We regret that a talent such as Geir Helgemo is sanctioned under an anti-doping regulation that is certainly adapted to physical sport but totally unsuitable for brain sport.

"We hope that this event will prompt interested authorities to look into this problem."

Helgemo, 49, provided the sample at the World Bridge Series in Orlando in September, and previously accepted a provisional ban, to which his suspension has been backdated.

Kari-Anne Opsal, the president of the Norwegian Bridge Federation, said the drugs were "not performance enhancing".

In a statement, she said: "Geir Helgemo has previously played for the Norwegian national team and is our biggest star. Many within the bridge community know Geir and respect him.

"It is his responsibility not to take substances that are on the doping list, even though in this instance they are not performance enhancing in bridge.

"I feel for Geir in this situation and hope he will come back stronger after 20 November, 2019, when his ban ends."

Helgemo is not the first bridge player to be found using banned substances. The World Bridge Federation is recognised by the International Olympic Committee and as such abides by World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) rules.

In 2015, Wada figures showed 3.6% of bridge players had returned adverse analytical findings.

In 2017, Helgemo and world number two, fellow Norwegian Tor Helness, 61, were both convicted of tax evasion.
The Children
Sat Mar 02 03:57:52
what he need female hormone roids for playin a card game for?

haha this is sick
Sat Mar 02 10:24:20
Why is bridge a sport associated with the Olympic committee?
Cherub Cow
Sat Mar 02 17:33:33
Because top athletes from around the world go to compete at the Olympics every 2 or 4 years... and some of those athletes are aware that bridge exists.
the wanderer
Sat Mar 02 23:17:55
maybe female fertility drugs cause him to emit pheromones that confuse & distract other male players who are led to believe an ovulating female is around

that's some next level bridge strategy
large member
Sun Mar 03 05:26:18
heh, I was going to post this. I heard about it last night at a party from some bridge players.
smart dude
Sun Mar 03 10:29:41
My grandmother (RIP) used to dope on coffee when she played bridge with her friends. This is a serious issue.
large member
Sun Mar 03 13:28:11
I inquired. Caffeine is not on the Bridge doping list.
Sun Mar 03 14:51:40
Several International Sports Federations are overseen by the International Olympic Committee. Turns out the World Bridge Association is one of them. To be associated with the ISF they have to adhere to all the rules and regulations.

This story is a perfect analogy of why a strong central government often doesn't work well.
Cherub Cow
Sun Mar 03 18:44:23
Or a not strong enough central government? Maybe we could get Hollywood to submit to doping rules.. that way, Hugh Jackman's Wolverine performances would have an asterisk next to them ;p
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