Now you might have thought that the noble game of bridge was the one sport which hadn't been affected by doping violations, but sadly that is no longer true.
In possibly one of the stranger news stories of the week, the bridge world number one has been suspended after failing a drugs test at a Bridge World Series event in Orlando in September last year.
Geir Helgemo, who is Norwegian, but represents Monaco in bridge events, tested positive for synthetic testosterone and female fertility drug clomifene, which can increase testosterone production in men.
After Helgemo accepted he had breached anti-doping rules, he was suspended by the World Bridge Federation until November 20th 2019. Helgemo was also stripped of all titles, medals and points from the 2018 World Bridge Series.
The president of the Norwegian Bridge Federation (who Helgemo previously represented) Kari-Anne Opsal said the drugs were "not performance enhancing".
Ospal went on to say:
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 November 20, 2019, when his ban ends.
The World Bridge Federation is recognised by the International Olympic Committee and therefore abides by the World Anti-Doping agency rules.
So, the next time your settling in for a nice game of bridge with your Granny, remember to make sure she's passed all of her anti-doping tests.
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