The BJJ world has just been rocked by another scandal. 20-year-old phenom Mica Galvao has tested positive for a banned substance after winning the 2022 IBJJF World Championship.
Due to this positive test, Galvao has been stripped of his world title. He will also face a one-year ban from all IBJJF competitions.
What Substance was Found?
USADA (The Official USADA statement may be found Here) discovered the substance clomiphene within Galvao’s test. A medication used to treat infertility in women, who do not ovulate or suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome.
Clomiphene is not a steroid, but is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances.
Directly from the USADA website about clomiphene, the substance is also found in many black market performance-enhancing supplements and steroids.
This substance being found in Mica’s test immediately set off red flags for USADA. Resulting in Galvao being stripped of his title and banned for the next year.
Mica Galvão’s Statement
After the failed drug test was announced, Mica made a statement on Instagram about the failed test and punishment.
Galvao claims that his positive test was due to his doctor using a banned substance during his treatment. He sincerely apologized for the mistake that’s interrupting his career and will continue competing in non IBJJF events.
Tye Ruotolo New IBJJF World Champ?
On the heels of this announcement, the IBJJF is also considering awarding the 2022 IBJJF title to silver medalist Tye Ruotolo.
If the IBJJF does go through with making this decision, it will cause two things.
- Precedents will be created where if a champion fails their drug test, the silver medalist becomes the new champion.(Pending the silver medalist doesn’t fail their drug test)
- Tye Ruotlo becomes the youngest champion in the history of IBJJF competition at the age of 19.
Other Recent Failed Drug Tests
Mica Galvao testing positive isn’t the only failed drug test that has rocked the sport of grappling. In March, it was announced that 5 athletes failed their 2022 No-Gi World Championship drug tests.
Galvao’s Fight Sport teammates Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu and Vagner Rocha being the biggest names of the five. The other three positive tests included Jonnatas Gracie(ATOS), Igor “Feliz” Nascimento(R1ing) and Henrique “Ceconi” Cardoso(KMKZ).
Is Every BJJ Athlete on Steroids?
Let’s be honest about steroids in BJJ and grappling. They have been an elephant in the room within grappling since major competitions began.
Everyone has known the majority of the world’s top grapplers take steroids or performance-enhancing drugs. This is a fact that cannot be disputed.
Even who many considered to be p4p the best grappler on the planet, Gordon Ryan has admitted using steroids. Ryan has also recently claimed former teammate Nicky Rodriguez also used steroids during their ongoing public spat.
Is IBJJF Doing the Right Thing?
The Jiu Jitsu media (including Jiu Jitsu Legacy) have been very critical of the IBJJF on a number of issues. But the steps they’re taking to clean up the sport is the right thing to do.
Steroid use has been rampant in grappling for years, and it needs to be put in check. On top of checking for steroids, IBJJF is also tasking USADA with checking for masking agents.
Substances that would only be present in a competitor’s body if they were taking illegal supplements or steroids.
It’s a shame that Mica Galvao failed his test, but he should take this as a learning experience. Expect to see more top athletes get popped for positive tests during this year.