World’s No 1 bridge player suspended after failing a drugs test

Bridge is not known for doping violations and Kari-Anne Opsal, president of the Norwegian Bridge Federation, insists the drugs Geir Helgemo took were ‘not performance enhancing’

Bridge is not known for doping violations and Kari-Anne Opsal, president of the Norwegian Bridge Federation, insists the drugs Geir Helgemo took were ‘not performance enhancing’. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

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.

Kari-Anne Opsal, president of the Norwegian Bridge Federation, said the drugs were “not performance enhancing”. In a statement on the federation’s 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.

[“source=theguardian”]

The Kapil Sharma Show new teaser: Kiku Sharda asks Kapil Sharma to move on after Deepika Padukone’s marriage

The Kapil Sharma Show

A new teaser of The Kapil Sharma Show has been released by Sony TV ahead of the comedy show’s grand premiere on December 29 at 9:30 PM. In the new teaser Simmba team Rohit Shetty, Ranveer Singh and Sara Khan are seen having a ball of a time with Kiku Sharda giving them a ‘hunkaar wala’ welcome. In the new teaser of the comedy show, Kiku is seen making fun of Kapil’s brand of humour and say that “inhi saari baaton ki wajah se Deepika haath se nikal gayi,” and asks Kapil to move on. Rohit Shetty, Sara Ali Khan and Ranveer Singh can be seen having fun at Kapil’s expense.

Comedy king Kapil Sharma is all set to make comeback after many months post his last show Family Time With Kapil Sharma bombed and was taken off air. The comedian, who has just tied the knot with long-time girlfriend Ginni Chatrath, has already shot for the first episode and the leaked stills of the same is doing the rounds on internet. In the first episode of the show, Simmba team Rohit Shetty, Ranveer Singh and Sara Khan will grace the show to promote their upcoming film. Post that in another episode, Salman Khan, the producer of the show, will make an appearance on the show with his Khan-daan, father and brothers Sohail and Arbaaz Khan.

[“source-indiatoday”]

SoftBank Suffers Rare Japan Debut Drop After Record IPO

SoftBank Suffers Rare Japan Debut Drop After Record IPO

SoftBank Corp shares slumped more than 10 percent on debut, as investor appetite for Japan’s biggest ever IPO was hurt by a recent service outage at the telecoms operator and worries over its exposure to Chinese telecoms gear maker Huawei.

The poor start for the unit of investment giant SoftBank Group Corp was uncommon in the Japanese IPO market. Of 82 IPOs so far this year, SoftBank was only the seventh to open below the IPO price. Among recent major IPOs, Japan Display was the only one to flop, suffering a fall in its 2014 debut.

“Retail investors are dumping shares after seeing the opening below IPO price, also affected by a service outage,” a market analyst at a brokerage said, declining to be named because he was not authorised to talk to the media.

“But I don’t expect the shares will fall much further given their dividend yield and expectations for being included in stock indexes,” he said.

Following its $23.5 billion initial public offering, shares of SoftBank Corp fell as far as JPY 1,344 five minutes into trade, or 10.4 percent lower than its IPO price of JPY1,500. The broader Tokyo market was up 0.1 percent.

SoftBank Corp shares were most heavily traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section, accounting for about a third of the total turnover volume.

At 10:48 a.m. (0148 GMT), the shares were at JPY 1,384, after opening at JPY 1,463. SoftBank Group was up 0.5 percent.

SoftBank Corp CEO Ken Miyauchi will hold a news conference at 0630 GMT.

The IPO was just shy of the world record $25 billion 2014 listing of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, a SoftBank Group portfolio company.

During the IPO period, Japan’s third-largest mobile phone network provider by subscriber numbers suffered a rare nationwide service outage, which it said would not affect earnings or dividends.

Adding to investor worries, SoftBank Corp’s relationship with Huawei Technologies Co came under scrutiny as governments around the world moved to shut out the Chinese firm amid worries its gear could facilitate Chinese spying.

SoftBank Corp, which has the most exposure to Huawei among Japanese telecoms firms, plans to replace Huawei-provided 4G network equipment with other suppliers’ hardware, two sources said, in a process likely to be time-consuming and expensive.

IPOs are popular among Japanese retail investors, many of whom see them as sure profit bets given their tendency to open much higher than offering prices.

In SoftBank Corp’s case, an added attraction was its promise of a dividend payout of 85 percent, much higher than those of rivals NTT DoCoMo and KDDI Corp.

The IPO attracted about twice as many retail orders as the number of shares offered, sources at lead underwriters said last week. A smaller portion of shares offered to overseas intuitional investors was three times oversubscribed.

[“source=cnbc”]

After high decibel campaign, Rajasthan, Telangana vote today: All you need to know

Police personnel march in front of the Hawa Mahal ahead of Rajasthan Assembly elections, in Jaipur. (Photo: PTI)

After a high-voltage campaign that saw a fierce war of words among the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and other regional parties, voting in two of the most crucial states, Telangana and Rajasthan, has started Friday.

What is likely to throw some light on how the 2019 Lok Sabha elections would turn out, these state elections will set the stage for the mega battle next year.

As soon as polling ends on Friday, media outlets, including India Today TV, will announce their respective exit poll results.

TELANGANA

In Telangana, more than 1.50 lakh polling officials, including reserve staff were seen giving final touches on Thursday to make the election to the 119-member House a smooth affair.

Over 2.80 crore electorate are eligible to exercise their franchise in the state, which has a total of 32,815 polling stations for the 119 stations.

High pitched campaigns by political heavyweights across party lines ended at 5 pm on Wednesday.

Additional DG (law and order) Jitender told PTI on Thursday that about one lakh police personnel, including 25,000 central paramilitary forces and 20,000 from other states are engaged in poll duties.

A senior police official said security has been beefed up at bordering areas for the polling on Friday, which were identified as Left Wing Extremist-affected regions.

On Wednesday, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao and several others criss-crossed the entire state to give that final push to the campaign before the state votes on Friday.

While KCR was without doubt the star campaigner for TRS, the Congress and the BJP fielded their bigwigs for campaigning which turned out to be a shrill one.

A massive TRS rally in Telangana’s Vemulawada on Wednesday. (Image: TRSParty/Twitter)

The BJP relied on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party president Amit Shah.

The assembly polls in Telangana were originally scheduled to be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections next year, but the House was dissolved on September 6 as per a recommendation by the state cabinet.

It is to be seen if KCR’s gamble to opt for early elections pays off while the BJP and Congress have alleged that KCR feared loss if the elections were held simultaneously with the 2019 general elections.

The Congress has stitched the ‘Prajakutami’ (People’s Front) along with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) and the CPI to take on the ruling TRS, led by KCR.

The TRS, seeking a second term in office, is going alone, as also the BJP.

The BJP, which won five seats in alliance with the TDP in the last elections in 2014, said it ensured that there is a triangular fight in Telangana this time.

Polling will start at 7 am and end at 5 pm, while in 13 constituencies which were classified as Left Wing Extremist-affected, polling ends one hour before (4 pm).

For the first time, Election Commission is using Voters Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in Telangana.

As many as 1,821 candidates, including a transgender, are in the fray in the election.

[“source=gsmarena”]