Five popular Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes have been handed three-year bans by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for testing positive for steroids. The athletes were found to have violated anti-doping rules during the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) World No-Gi Championship event in December 2022.
The USADA statement identified the athletes as Igor Feliz of R1NG, Jonnatas Gracie of Atos HQ, Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu of Fight Sports, Henrique “Ceconi” Cardoso of KMKZ, and Vagner Rocha of Fight Sports.
- Igor Feliz tested positive for exogenous testosterone and its metabolites.
- Jonnatas Gracie tested positive for 19-norandrosterone and exogenous testosterone and its metabolites.
- Cyborg was positive for exogenous testosterone and its metabolites
- Henrique Cardoso tested positive for 19-NA, a drostanolone metabolite, epitrenbolone, methasterone, and exogenous testosterone and its metabolites.
- Finally, Vagner Rocha refused to submit to a sample collection.
All five athletes accepted their penalties and have been handed a three-year period of ineligibility that began on the dates they were provisionally suspended from competition.
A Three Year Suspension
According to Article 10.8.1 of the Code, an athlete who violates an anti-doping rule and faces a period of ineligibility of four years or more can receive a one-year reduction in sanctions if they admit to the violation and accept the asserted punishment within 20 days of being notified of the violation. All five athletes who were found guilty received this one-year reduction in the otherwise applicable four-year period of ineligibility.
Furthermore, all of the athletes have been banned from any competitive results achieved in competitions that were sanctioned by the IBJJF or any other signatory of the Code starting from December 11, 2022, the date of the 2022 IBJJF World No-Gi Championships.
Doping in competitive BJJ continues to be a major concern for organizations like the IBJJF and USADA, with efforts being made to ensure a level playing field for all athletes.