Professional bridge is a competitive sport. But is it so competitive that players would resort to use performance enhancing drugs? Well, we got our answer Friday when it was reported that, Geir Helgemo, the world's number one professional bridge player tested positive for two banned drugs.
If you don't know what bridge is, it's a card game in which players compete in teams of two. The objective is to gain points by defeating the other partnerships bids. At the end of the game, whoever has the most points wins.
Helgemo is originally from Norway and competed for the Norwegian team. However, he has since changed his team and has been representing Monaco. He was well known and respected on the scene. After the drug testing, he has been suspended until November 20 and has had all of his medals and awards revoked.
So, what drugs did Geir Helgemo test positive for? The first is synthetic testosterone. The second is a drug called clomifene which is used in female fertility. The next major question you may ask is, what kind of competitive edge did these drugs give Helgemo? Well, according to the Norwegian Bridge Federation, the drugs he was taking were, "not performance enhancing". This means he gained absolutely no advantage when it comes to competition.
Even though these drugs were not giving Helgemo any competitive advantage, he was still suspended because he competed under the World Bridge Federation which is recognized by the International Olympics Committee. The two drugs are banned substances from the World Anti-Doping Agency, which means even though Helgemo wasn't benefiting from them, he still has to abide by these drug rules.