While there are a lot of rumors that have spread about who is and isn’t using performance-enhancing drugs in competitive jiu-jitsu, the limited (and often nonexistent) testing performed by many high-level BJJ organizations means that all that speculation rarely amounts to anything more than whispers and assumptions. However, one elite jiu-jitsu athlete is definitely not competing while on anabolic steroids, and she took measures into her own hands to prove it.
Jena Bishop, who will be competing at this year’s ADCC Championship after earning gold at the East Coast Qualifiers earlier this year, revealed in a social media post yesterday that she’d paid to get herself tested to prove that, no, it’s not true that all high-level grapplers are taking prohibited substances to succeed in the sport.
“ATTENTION: Lately the talk about steroid use in BJJ is more relevant than ever. I could care less if someone use[s]/abuses steroids but I think there is a lot of false information and poor understanding of what that really looks like. @adcc2019 obviously does not test and I have absolutely no problem with that. There are a lot of males and females competing at a high-level taking them but I am not one of them and want to make that clear for ADCC this year.
I voluntarily (and with my own $) subjected myself to an anabolic steroid test to highlight to upcoming jiu jitsu athletes, specifically women and kids, that it is certainly not a requirement if you want to compete at the highest level.
Everyone is guessing about who is using what to enhance their performance right now. I think it is nice to know that not “everyone is on steroids” as Nate Diaz so eloquently put it.
The results speak for themselves.”
While the future of prohibited-substance testing in BJJ remains uncertain, Bishop’s decision will hopefully spark a conversation that will lead to effective solutions to ensure a cleaner playing field in competitive jiu-jitsu.