After Much Deliberation, Felipe Pena Accepts IBJJF Sanctions for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

3 min read
Felipe Pena and anti-doping rule violation: Did Felipe Pena intentionally take clomiphene, or was it unknowingly prescribed to him, and is the punishment fair?… Read the results below and let us know what you believe.

Felipe Pena Accepts IBJJF Sanctions for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

After Much Deliberation, Felipe Pena Accepts IBJJF Sanctions for Anti-Doping Rule Violation

Felipe Pena and anti-doping rule violation: Did Felipe Pena intentionally take clomiphene, or was it unknowingly prescribed to him, and is the punishment fair?… Read the results below and let us know what you believe.

Location: Kennedy Space Center, FL

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Photo by: @felipepenabjj

USADA announced yesterday, on June 16th, that Felipe Pena, from Minas Gerais, Brazil, an outstanding Jiu-Jitsu athlete the world over, has agreed to a one-year period of ineligibility for not his first but second anti-doping rule violation within the last 10 years. Pena’s first violation was documented back in 2015.

Tested positive in 2021

Pena, who is 30 years old, tested positive for clomiphene and its metabolites from an in-competition drug test conducted in the 2021 IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championships on December 12th, 2021. Even though the IBJJF is not officially a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code, USADA was contracted by IBJJF to conduct testing of the athletes for the event the previous year.

What is Clomiphene

Clomiphene is a substance in the class of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators. It is prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the World Anti-Doping Code which applied to the 2021 IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championships in 2021 as under almost all circumstances it should.

More information on the substance here

Period of ineligibility with IBJJF

On January 7th, 2022, Pena’s one-year period of ineligibility officially began… the date his provisional suspension was first imposed. In addition to the suspension, originally set to 4 years, Pena has unfortunately been disqualified from ALL competitive achievements in competitions sanctioned by the IBJJF, or any Code signatory, on and after December 12th, 2021 which was the date his positive sample was collected. This action includes forfeiture of any and all points, medals, and prizes within the after-mention time period. IBJJF has thus agreed to impose the sanction.

Felipe Pena offered this quote in response to the sanctions, which delivers some additional insight and context to the claims and regulations imposed by IBJJF and the USADA:

“I feel obliged to come here and be transparent with those who like and follow my work since forever!  You who follow me, like my personality, my jiu-jitsu, you are always supporting me, cheering and vibrating along with the achievements of my career… In January 2022 I received an email from USADA informing me that my Worlds exam showed a paltry amount of a substance called Clomiphene.  As soon as I received it I contacted my doctor Dr. Felipe Pereira and he told me that he had actually prescribed clomiphene for health reasons, –nothing to do with my athletic life  – in July of 2021 (five months before the Worlds) when they had announced whether or not there would be a Worlds because of the covid. 

Clomiphene is a drug sold over-the-counter in any pharmacy without any prescription or restriction… From the first moment I told USADA what had happened and after all the investigation done by them they decided to reduce my sentence from 4 years to the minimum sentence of 1 year because they agreed that it was not something intentional, which did not alter my performance at all and for being the substance that it was.  

I believe that USADA’s work is important in any sport but even though this is all proven by them according to article 9, this would be the minimum penalty for tests done in competition and I don’t think it’s fair.  During the process, I was even informed that if I had written a pre-competition letter informing me of what had happened, I would have had no problem, but due to inexperience and carelessness, this ended up happening.  I just wanted to say that I have a clear conscience, and I’m still focused and motivated with the next goals.  I’m sure there are a lot of good things to happen very soon, just thank you for the support of all of you who are always here following my routine, during good and bad times.  We are always together.”

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