USADA snagged 6 high profile suspensions this year. This is fairly rare, with the organization conducting a total of 15 tests per year for several years leading up to 2023.
They appear to be stepping up their collaboration with the IBJJF, considering they even went so far as to pursue Vagner Rocha and Roberto Cyborg Abreu for an out of competition test after they fled before the medal ceremony.
Three-time world champion Márcio Pé de Pano has recently made a surprising revelation during an episode of the podcast “A hora do Jiu-Jitsu”.
He spoke about an alleged scandal within the USADA. Pé de Pano did not mention any names but revealed that he had spoken with two of the five athletes who were suspended after the 2022 No-Gi Worlds.
Henrique Ceconi, Igor Feliz, Jonnatas Gracie, Roberto Cyborg, and Vagner Rocha were suspended for three years by the USADA after testing positive for a range of SARMs. Pé de Pano stated that the two athletes he spoke to claimed they had been offered a “proposal” by USADA to reduce their sentence if they “denounced” someone who was also using PEDs.
This practice isn’t unheard of. Jon Jones famously negotiated his suspension down to 6 months from 48 back in 2018.
Clause 10.6.1.1 of USADA’s UFC agreement allows for a reduction of punishment if a person agrees to provide ‘substantial information’.
During the Miami Open, Pé de Pano met two athletes who had failed the No-Gi Worlds test. They confirmed that they had been offered a reduced penalty in exchange for snitching on someone else.
Pé de Pano shared the story of Werdum, who had received a similar proposal in the UFC, with the two athletes. They then revealed that they too had been approached by USADA. According to Pé de Pano, the USADA called them before the result and offered the deal. However, the athletes refused the offer.
This alleged scandal could have significant implications on the world of Jiu-Jitsu.