2018 IBJJF World champion Mahamed Aly is a very popular figure on social media with his IG page and Youtube shows which gather a large following.
The champion recently made a surprising confession during a Q&A with his fans on his Instagram page. Aly admitted having used PED’s in the past. This is the first that any pro athlete in BJJ has openly admitted to having taken PEDs.
Aly was asked by a fan if he had ever taken PED’s to which he honestly answered:
(transcripted by Flograppling)
“Man, I have taken, but it’s not something I do. At the end of the day I don’t think it’s good for my performance. I think that it takes away from your feeling of deserving it. Doing something that in theory is illegal, it takes away from your sense of worthiness.”
PED culture is rampant in Jiu-Jitsu and Grappling:
Last year, news came out that the IBJJF would be contracting U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to test athletes at the No Gi world championships held in December 2019.
This marked the first time that competitors at an IBJJF no-gi event would be subject to testing. Up to now, only champions in the Gi Pan and World championships were tested for PEDS.
The testing started and so far, the following athletes have been suspended for PED use: Gabi Garcia (2013), Braulio Estima (2014), Felipe Pena (2014), Leo Nogueira (2016), Paulo Miyao (2016), & Tayane Porfirio (2018 and received a 4 year ban), Kaynan Duarte (2020). Athletes received 1 to 4 year bans and forfeited their medals.
In 2014, after winning the IBJJF world Jiu-Jitsu championships, Felipe Pena faced a 1 year ban from USADA sanctioned competition for a positive result for testosterone. This was a victory for IBJJF, as it showed that the system worked. But does it really? The drug tests are announced months in advance and this means that athletes that are on gear can time their cycle so as not to get caught on a specific date. Did Pena simply time his cycle wrong? How many more athletes are cheating their way to victory by timing their PED use?
Drug testing is very expensive and IBJJF is doing the right by testing it’s athletes but is it really enough?