World’s Top Bridge Player Suspended for Doping

Geir Helgemo tested positive once again.

Jordan Gaston, Staff Reporter

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The world’s number one bridge player, Geir Helgemo, has been suspended after taking a drug test and having it come out as positive. He had two banned substances in his system: synthetic testosterone and clomiphene, a female fertility drug. It is said to have little to no benefits for players in bridge. It was at a World Bridge Series event in Orlando, Florida last September. The World Bridge Federation (WBF) is a recognized member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). They also abide by the World Anti-Doping Agency rules.

When Helgemo finally accepted that he breached the organization’s anti-doping rules, he was suspended by the WBF until November 20, 2019. However, the punishment did not stop there. Geir would be stripped of any titles, medals, or points he had collected from 2018 Word Bridge Series. Geir Helgemo is was born in Norway, but now is a citizen of Monaco. So he represents Monaco in bridge events.

Sadly this is not Geir Helgemo first incident with doping. Dating back to 2015, the Independent reported that the World Anti-Doping Agency found substances in bridge players and anglers. Helgemo also was sentenced to prison for tax evasion.

Kari Anne Opsal, the head of the World Bridge Norwegian Federation, said on the group’s website, “I feel for Geir in this situation, it is his responsibility to avoid substances that are listed in the anti-doping code, even if these drugs aren’t performance-enhancing in bridge.” Clomiphene can raise male testosterone levels, stimulating muscle growth and physical ability. It is said to have little to no benefits for players in bridge.

Opsal also stated, “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.”