Bid for drug-free sports has burned bridge

O, BY THE WAY

The Kickoff

November 06, 2007|By BILL ORDINE

One of the ongoing story lines of professional sports has been the use of performance-enhancing substances. Or anything stronger than a cough drop, it would seem. What's that? No cough drops, either? Huh.

Anyway, a reader wrote as a result of one of our posts, perhaps it was the Barry Bonds-asterisk thing last week, that this business of competitors and drug testing can crop up in the most unlikely of places - like bridge, for instance.

In fact, one bridge player was stripped of a medal five years ago for refusing to take a drug test. The player was Disa Eythorsdottir, an American player who apparently hails from Iceland.

At the time, the player said she knew she would flunk because she was taking diet pills, but she questioned the whole idea.

"Like what could I take to enhance my performance - smart pills?" she said in a Newhouse News Service story back in 2003. She pointed out that many older people play, and how about all the medications they might be taking?

"Anyone who had four cups of coffee couldn't pass that drug test," she said in the 2003 story.

The controversy didn't get a whole lot of attention in the mainstream media, but back when it occurred, it was spotlighted on The Daily Show. There's something of happy ending. Eythorsdottir is still competing.

bill.ordine@baltsun.com

For more O, by the Way, go to baltimoresun.com/ordine

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