‘My doctor used a banned substance in my treatment’ — Mica Galvao on 12-month IBJJF ban

Mica Galvao has accepted a 12-month ban by the IBJJF, after failing a USADA drug test.

By: Kevin Bradley | 2 months ago
‘My doctor used a banned substance in my treatment’ — Mica Galvao on 12-month IBJJF ban
Mica Galvao during his BJJ world title match against Tye Ruotolo

Late yesterday evening, BJJ phenom and former 2022 IBJJF Worlds champion Mica Galvao responded to news of his failed drug test and the forfeiture of his IBJJF title. Readily accepting the ruling by the IBJJF, the 19-year old is currently serving a 12-month ban from competition with the organization, for his use of a banned substance, “prescribed in a therapeutic dose under the care of a physician,” according to a statement from USADA.

Galvao gave fans his side of the story in a post on his Instagram feed.

Mica Galvao says substance use was prescribed

Mica Galvao confirms the claim that his personal doctor used an unnamed medication, but maintains it was unintentional. “Me and my father have always tried to stay close to the best professionals to help me in my career. Unfortunately, this mistake happened and I own it.” he said. He ended the post by plugging his appearance at BJJ Stars later this month. “I don’t mind walking all the way to the top again,” Galvao wrote. “[…]my journey doesn’t end here, it’s only just begun.”

Numerous pro grapplers quickly offered support in his post’s comments section, like ADCC and IBJJF legends Gabi Garcia and Augusto ‘“’Tanquinho’”’ Mendes. Garcia ironically experienced a similar situation in 2014, testing positive for a banned fertility drug and also being stripped of her 2013 worlds title.

“Being able to endure the judgement of someone who has never been in your shoes is only for a few!” Garcia wrote.

Tye Ruotolo will likely take Galvao’s mantle as the youngest IBJJF Worlds winner

For eight months following his dynamic victory over fellow prodigy Tye Ruotolo, the 19-year-old enjoyed global acclaim as the youngest IBJJF Worlds winner in history. Though no official announcements have been made, that honor will likely transfer to Ruotolo as he was 19 himself at the time of competition. Ruotolo has yet to respond to Galvao’s ban.

Galvao will compete in the 16-man open weight tournament at BJJ Stars 10: Battlefield on Saturday, April 22 in São Paulo, Brazil.

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About the author
Kevin Bradley
Kevin Bradley

Kevin Bradley is a writer covering Bloody Elbow’s grappling beat. A longtime BJJ hobbyist, he began covering combat sports in 2018 for the Jiu-Jitsu Times with athlete interviews and fight breakdowns. He branched into audio the following year, producing and co-hosting the JJT Podcast for its 100 episode run. After a writing hiatus, occasionally contributing to various sites in the interim, he joined BE in late 2022.

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