A series of doubts within the Jiu-Jitsu community have surfaced recently regarding the anti-doping test process at the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. GRACIEMAG asked three questions to the IBJJF to clarify the issues.
GRACIEMAG: When does IBJJF get to know about a positive result and why does the IBJJF takes so long to release information about the sanction?
IBJJF: The IBJJF has an agreement with USADA, who is the independent anti-doping organization that the IBJJF has engaged to run the program, in which the IBJJF upholds the sanctions decided by USADA whenever an athlete has been found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation. By allowing USADA to run the anti-doping program for its events, the IBJJF adheres to USADA’s policies. As part of this anti-doping program, the IBJJF may not allow athletes who have tested positive to compete in its events while the case is pending in order to avoid any other title to be challenged. This is to insure the integrity of the competition and the rights of all competitors. The adjudication process must provide full due process to the athlete, which means the sanctioning process can take some time, as the athlete is provided the opportunity to contest the laboratory findings and present a defense to the alleged doping offense. Until USADA has reached a decision on the sanction, the IBJJF cannot release any information about the case and cannot comment about the results with the athlete. In addition, the IBJJF does not get to know the details of the process. Regarding Mr. Pena’s case, the IBJJF received the news about the final decision the same day that USADA posted its press release, and not any time before then.
Is there any way for BJJ fans to get to know the results from USADA tests?
Yes, anyone can subscribe to USADA’s news releases (www.usada.org/news) or follow them on social media to be informed of any sanctions.
And what about the first place title? Does the IBJJF plan to consecrate the second place as the winner in case an athlete is tested positive in an event?
Yes, for the future, we have been studying the possibility to have the second place being consecrated as the first place, in case the gold medalist loses its title due to an anti-doping sanction. We are studying the possibilities available within the agreement that the IBJJF has with USADA and also about what has happened in the past when different sports had to handle the same situation. It’s important for the IBJJF to study the most fair and correct decisions about this matter because we understand and value the importance of a clean environment for our sport.