Gordon Ryan claims PED use is legal and worse than greasing, but is that even true?

There is an ongoing debate in BJJ regarding the impact of PED use and greasing on match outcomes.

What is greasing?

In BJJ, greasing refers to the illegal practice of applying lubricants to one’s body to make it harder for opponents to grip or hold during a match. Some major promotions prohibit greasing, but there is no adequate way of addressing it.

How would Ryan penalize gerasing?

Ryan has suggested measures to address greasing, including a financial penalty that would impact the match outcome and giving part of the penalty to the opposing athlete.

While PED use and greasing are often used to negate each other, Ryan believes that PED use is legal.

Is PED use legal in BJJ?

Anabolic agents (often referred to as PEDs) are classified as a Schedule III substance under the Controlled Substances Act in the United States, meaning they are illegal to possess or distribute without a prescription from a licensed medical professional.

For example, in Texas, possession of anabolic agents without a valid prescription is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of up to $4,000 and imprisonment for up to one year.

The specific legal penalty for possession of anabolic agents can vary depending on the amount involved, the intended use, and the individual’s criminal history. However, penalties for possession can include fines, probation, and imprisonment for up to one year for a first-time offense.

Subsequent offenses can result in higher fines and longer prison sentences. It’s important to note that the laws and penalties can differ from state to state.

However, there are certain medical conditions that may warrant the use under a doctor’s supervision. Testosterone replacement therapy is one of them. Many men face declining levels of testosterone as they age, especially those that spent large quantities of time training mixed martial arts.

There’s scientific proof that head trauma in men may be associated with low testosterone levels and sexual dysfunction through mechanisms that likely include hypopituitarism secondary to ischemic injury and pituitary axonal tract damage.

It should be considered, that there’s a big discrepancy in how US clinics diagnose testosterone deficiency and how they treat it. There’s quite a bit of room between maintaining normal bodily function and wanting to be Liver King 2.0.

Which is worse?

B team cofounder Craig Jones once again posed a poll on his social media asking BJJ practitioners to decide which infraction is worse with the opinions coming in split in the middle. Jones also joked he’s a fan of both in the same post.

Ryan promptly responded that there’s no comparison between the two explaining:



He added:

“Dont try to use this argument, its f***ing ‘mora*++. And you can make jokes about your blatant cheating all you want, you’re still a cheater f**k who shouldn’t be allowed to compete anymore”

IBJJF theoretically penalizes both

To make things more interesting it’s important to note that in theory there’s one organization that’s banned both – IBJJF. In the IBJJF rulebook, section 6.2.3 outlines the following as a severe foul:

“When an athlete applies creams, oils, gels or any slippery substance to any part of the body.”
“When the athlete utilizes any substance that increase the adherence in any part of his/her body.”
“When the athlete utilizes any substance that makes the kimono slippery for the grips.”

As for PEDs, IBJJF tests black belt participants who make it onto the podium in the black belt divisions. The penalties received for PED use vary from 6 months to 4 years and technically even longer for repeat offenders.

Is Gordon Ryan on PEDs?

Joe Rogan previously claimed that Gordon Ryan is open about his PED use. While Rogan is certainly familiar with Ryan, Ryan never confirmed anything like that explicitly to a wider audience to our knowledge.

The main purpose of this post is to offer a nuanced view on two forms of cheating – with neither being legal and both being utilized by different competitors.