Today I want to talk about a slightly polemical subject: doping. It’s a subject that’s permeated our sport for a while and people haven’t really taken a stance on this. In order to talk about this, we need to talk about the values that were defined long ago, and that are embedded in sport. We have to ask questions like: what is justice, what is honesty, what is competition, what is well-being and of course what is being an example?
When we have these values, it’s easier to understand how we can combat this. Without a shadow of doubt, doping exists in sport, MMA demonstrates this more and more but it also exists in Jiu Jitsu. The international federation has been testing for about 5 years, and every year someone gets caught revealing the reality of the sport. It’s really bad to see these athletes wanting to win at any cost. Alliance athletes are also culpable, I’m not denying that. I’m saying that doping exists within Jiu Jitsu as a whole.
I can say with a lot of tranquility that I never doped throughout my career. I always competed clean and the fights I won reflected my dedication; they were deserved, I never cheated. Even though everyone wants to win, and often gives that familiar excuse that their opponent dopes, it’s not an excuse. You have to do what is honest and truthful for you. I always believed this as an athlete, and I also believe this as a teacher. I know athletes on my team have doped because they got caught. It’s the risk they take when they do that. It’s a huge risk. If an athlete won a title or a trophy, they lose it and then you often have to dispute the situation trying to argue what you took and whether it was within the rules. You end up losing your credibility.
This is, however, the smallest of the problems. The example you give to generations below you is really important. Imagine if you become a teacher, what message are you giving? This victory at any price isn’t acceptable. We need to give examples for the generations that are coming up, for things like honesty and well-being. There are lots of people that don’t want to be a world champion. They just want to practice Jiu Jitsu, and you as a teacher are their idol. Your students will do what you do because they look up to you. If you fall into that trap of doping, think really hard about the example you’re setting – who wants to do this, in my opinion, is engaging in a kind of Jiu Jitsu that has a very short shelf life. I think we have to think more about the construction of a legacy for when you’re no longer an athlete and to think about how you want to be remembered. Remember that you have a role in impacting people’s life so compete clean. Don’t dope.
See you soon!