Worlds No 1 bridge player suspended after failing a drugs test

Geir Helgemo, the worlds No 1 bridge player, has been suspended until 20 November after failing a drugs test

The world No 1 bridge player has been suspended after failing a drugs test.

Geir Helgemo, who is Norwegian but represents Monaco in bridge events, tested positive for synthetic testosterone and the female fertility drug clomifene at a World Bridge Series event in Orlando in September.

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

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Kari-Anne Opsal, president of the Norwegian Bridge Federation, said the drugs were not performance enhancing. In a statement on the federations website, 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 his ban ends.

The World Bridge Federation (WBF) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee and as such abides by World Anti-Doping Agency rules.

In its ruling, the WBFs antidoping panel said the team with which Helgemo competed in the transnational Rosenblum Cup would be stripped of the title, though his teammates were not considered to be at fault and would be allowed to retain their medals, awards and masterpoints related to the second place of ranking in the 2018 competition, which was held in Orlando, in Florida.

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The ruling read: The nature of this and all championships require the national federation to attest to the good standing of the athlete; no wrong doing or responsibility was found to be held against the Monaco Bridge Federation.

The WBF said Helgemo had provided details of how the prohibited substances may have come to be present in his system, though an extract of the panels ruling did not elaborate.

Helgemo was ordered to refund the WBF for the costs of the hearing, which it calculated at 3,659 (3,154).

Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

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