Poll

2 votes (28.57%)
1 vote (14.28%)
2 votes (28.57%)
1 vote (14.28%)
1 vote (14.28%)
1 vote (14.28%)
1 vote (14.28%)
1 vote (14.28%)
1 vote (14.28%)
4 votes (57.14%)

7 members have voted

Gialmere
Gialmere
Joined: Nov 26, 2018
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March 5th, 2019 at 12:23:05 AM permalink
The poll question is: Would you vote to uphold Geir Helgemo's suspension and penalties?

Full Story Here from Global news. (There are many others out there.)



Geir Helgemo, the #1 ranked Bridge player in the world, has been handed a one year suspension for doping. He tested positive for "synthetic testosterone and Clomifene, a medication typically used to treat infertility in women that can also increase testosterone levels in men." The drugs were declared non-performance enhancing. According to Helgemo, he was dealing with weight issues and took supplements from a body building friend not knowing what they were. In addition to the suspension, the World Bridge Federation stripped him of all titles and medals from sanctioned 2018 events and he must pay the hearing costs of 3600 Euros. This is all pending a final decision by a committee (hence the poll question).

Why the fuss over non-enhancing drugs? The rub is that the WBF is sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee and must, therefore abide by its rules. So, after a tournament last year, Helgemo got tested. Failed. Got retested and failed again for a drug that the IOC has banned (aimed mostly at weightlifters). Surprisingly, this isn't a rare event. According to a Washington Post story, 22% of bridge players tested positive for drugs in 2016. Most of these were masking drugs like diuretics (i.e. water pills) used to beat a urine test to cover up actual performance enhancing drugs.

If, as I did, you find yourself wondering what the hell kind of drug can actually help a card player, the answer turns out to be obvious: stimulants. A Bridge tournament can grind on for two or three weeks. A drug that can keep a player awake, alert and able to concentrate for hours and hours while sitting at a table and watching an endless parade of cards pass by would have an advantage over a player just sipping coffee. The drug of choice seems to be Ritalin, a stimulant that acts like testosterone and has been shown to improve the performance of chess players. High level chess players generally have above average testosterone levels. The drugs Helgemo was busted for increase testosterone. Coincidence?

How 'bout you? Does anyone here have a story about a card player using a "performance enhancing substance" so as to keep awake, alert and able to concentrate for hours and hours while sitting at a table and watching an endless parade of cards pass by?
Have you tried 22 tonight? I said 22.
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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March 5th, 2019 at 4:01:56 AM permalink
No. Just a silly restriction not pertinent to the competition. I play bridge, though not anywhere close to this level of expertise, and have played in sectionals and regionals. Yes, the full schedule is a grind, but not insanely so, the games are very time-controlled (unlike poker), and all competitors play the same events in the same time frame.

People take Ritalin for ADD/ADHD type diagnoses and other things. It's not the only drug for that, but probably the best known. Yes, it improves focus and concentration. That's its purpose.

The World Bridge Federation is recognized by the IOC and follows its charter. But that's as far as it goes. They hold international championships, and there is a Bridge Olympiad, but it's not a recognized Olympic sport in the traditional.sense. I just don't buy this banning.

Sorry, sort of a rambling argument, but I haven't had my Ritalin yet (joke) so my concentration is down. Squirrel!
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
billryan
billryan
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March 5th, 2019 at 4:26:58 AM permalink
Rulz are like bones. Fun to break.
Rigondeaux
Rigondeaux
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March 5th, 2019 at 4:55:42 AM permalink


I know little about bridge, but I'd be surprised if the drugs didn't give you an edge.

Allowing them puts pressure on every other player to take the drugs.

Whether they should be allowed or not, they aren't. He cheated. His explanation is actually comical. He did the crime and perhaps robbed another player of the glory and pride and money (how much, if anything, do elite bridge players make?) of winning a big event. Now he can do the time.
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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Thanks for this post from:
AxelWolfaceofspades
March 5th, 2019 at 5:12:08 AM permalink
I say get rid of all doping rules.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
Joeman
Joeman 
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Thanks for this post from:
aceofspadestringlomane
March 5th, 2019 at 5:23:35 AM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman

I say get rid of all doping rules.


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DogHand
DogHand
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March 5th, 2019 at 7:50:34 AM permalink
Joeman,

I rarely click video links, but I'm glad I clicked yours: it was hilarious!

Thanks for the laugh.

Dog Hand
WatchMeWin
WatchMeWin
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March 5th, 2019 at 8:03:03 AM permalink
I wrote about PEDS in Poker a while back. If someone takes a drug to enhance their performance, it is considered a PED. It doesnt just have to be steroids or doping for physical results in my opinion. How about all of the drugs people take to help them relax or focus more in a card game, or any game where there is money involved? I cant tell you how many people Ive played poker with that were taking Adderall, Zanex, Percs, etc.. It altered their normal state of mind and gave them an edge.
'Winners hit n run... Losers stick around'
TigerWu
TigerWu
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Thanks for this post from:
JoemanAxelWolf
March 5th, 2019 at 8:29:50 AM permalink
This is stupid. The whole point of those doping rules is to prevent PHYSICAL advantages in PHYSICAL sports.

Putting a bridge tournament under IOC rules is nonsensical. They should have their own rules.

This is exactly like those zero-tolerance rules that schools have where a kid chews a piece of bread into a vaguely gun-like shape and he gets suspended because the people in charge have zero common sense on how to effectively enforce rules.
sabre
sabre
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March 5th, 2019 at 9:48:41 AM permalink
Quote: TigerWu


This is exactly like those zero-tolerance rules that schools have where a kid chews a piece of bread into a vaguely gun-like shape and he gets suspended because the people in charge have zero common sense on how to effectively enforce rules.



It was a pop tart. And the school claimed the suspension had nothing to do with a gun shape and everything to do with a pattern of disruptive behavior. They stated something to effect of "Had he chewed it into a cat shape and ran around meowing we would have issued the same suspension." I have no idea if that's true or if it was a CYA for stupidity, but I can see people jumping to conclusions that the suspension was related to the gun shape.

I do know that the fact that a 7 year olds school suspension ended up in a years long court battle is absolutely ridiculous.

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