While drug testing has not been done in most BJJ tournaments, it looks like the IBJJF is trying to level the playing field for their first big tournament of the year. That is because at the Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championships, planned to be held from March 20-24, the IBJJF is going to have an anti-doping testing program implemented. The testing is going to be done by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
The USADA does the testing for the Olympic, Paralympic, and many other big events. This programs implementation shows IBJJF’s commitment to running a drug-free competition. While this news is good, it remains to be seen how this program will change how the tournament is run or what the outcomes of it will be. Not much information is given in the press release or the websites that accompany it.
Obviously, with the drug-testing running concurrently with the tournament results will not be known until a little bit after the tournaments conclusion. So, does that mean that results can be overturned after the fact? Plus, the wording of the press release calls for “any athlete competing at the championships to be tested.” Does that mean that the testing is voluntary, or can officials pick and choose who they deem needs to be tested? Plus, this partnership cannot come cheap, and will that effect the overall cost of the tournament per competitor.
The exact specifics of this testing have not been outlined, and so far only speculation can be made about how it will affect the Pan Ams. So, while the introduction of drug testing policy is a good idea in thought it remains to be seen if the implementation goes off well in reality. Let’s hope that this testing goes off without a hitch, and only helps make BJJ competitions that much better.
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