Yesterday news came out that the IBJJF would be contracting U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to test athletes at the upcoming No Gi world championships held in December 2019.
This marks 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). 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?
PED culture is rampant in Jiu-Jitsu and Grappling:
Without unannounced, random PED tests, there is zero chance of catching PED abusers. The biggest advantage of steroids is the ability it gives a person to recover. In BJJ the users will be able to train longer, harder than a natural competitor, then just stop taking a month prior to competition so they too can piss clean. They’ll be able to work on rolling and technique much more than a natty competitor for most of the year. Even if they lose strength gains from coming off a steroid cycle, they will not lose the advancements they made on technique.
This fitness expert explains exactly why this type of drug testing is ineffective and how the athletes are able to beat it: