Patterico's Pontifications


Yet Again, the Sporting World Is Rocked by a Doping Scandal

Filed under: General — JVW @ 9:02 pm

[guest post by JVW]

It’s getting to be so that all of our idols turn out to have feet of clay:

The World Bridge Federation says the world’s No. 1 bridge player has been suspended after failing a drug test.

The federation said on its website Friday that Geir Helgemo, who is Norwegian but represents Monaco in bridge events, tested positive for synthetic testosterone and female fertility drug clomifene at a World Bridge Series event in Orlando, Florida last September.

After accepting he had breached anti-doping rules, Helgemo was suspended by the WBF until Nov. 20. He also had all titles, medals and points from the 2018 World Bridge Series revoked.

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

So, if you are like me — and Heavens to Betsy, I should sure hope you are not — you have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, this is certainly a let-down to the entire bridge community and could have significant ramifications for the cocktail nut and the fancy cracker industry. On the other hand, we can all rest easily that Mr. Helgemo — “Geir” has we have come to know and love him — was not using performance-enhancing drugs. There are a few other important things here to note:

* He tested positive for a female fertility drug.
* The World Bridge Federation does drug testing.
* The WBF is recognized by the International Olympic Committee because apparently one of these days we will be able to watch live Olympic bridge action on CNBC featuring Thailand vs. Bolivia.
* He is Norwegian but represents Monaco in international bridge, which might have led to a nuclear exchange between the two superpowers had cooler heads not prevailed.

If you are worried about whether or not this could affect Geir’s career, know that the Norwegian Bridge Federation is one-hundred percent behind him. Here is a quote from their president:

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 … when his ban ends.

Watch out world: you haven’t seen the last of Geir Helgemo!


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