Women's BJJ powerhouse Gabi Garcia failed a drug test from the IBJJF 2013 Worlds and has been stripped of her medals, but it might not be what you think.
Yesterday the United States Anti-Doping Agency released that nine time IBJJF world champion Gabrielle Garcia failed a drug test following the 2013 IBJJF World Championships and has been stripped of her medals from that event. Garcia is know for her large size and powerful grappling, and as a result, the news of a positive test has seemingly affirmed what a great deal of people suspected of Garcia.
The positive drug test shows that Clomiphene was in Garcia's system. Clomiphene is a drug on the USADA banned list in sports because it helps block estrogen's effects and restore testosterone levels to normal in a fashion similar to TRT treatment in men. The athletic benefits of Clomiphene are extremely limited for women - except in one aspect: helping with female infertility.
Clomiphene, when used for women, is supposed to be used as a fertility drug.
This means it is possible that Garcia was not using the drug to gain a competitive advantage - and that seems to the conclusion the USADA came to. Below is an excerpt from their report and you can read the entire report right here.
After a thorough review of the case, USADA was able to conclude, to a comfortable satisfaction, that Garcia had not acted negligently and was not at fault for the positive test. Although Garcia was not found to be at fault or to have acted negligently, in accordance with the Code, a violation of the anti-doping rules in connection with an In-Competition test automatically leads to the disqualification of all results obtained in that competition. While her results from the IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championships shall be disqualified, Garcia did not receive a period of ineligibility and, in accordance with the Code, remains eligible to compete.
Historically, female track athletes have tested positive for Clomiphene in the past and have generally not been punished harshly, as the substance is seen as having few athletic benefits and is normally a sign of the difficulty of attempting to have a child while a high level female athlete. High level athletic training and higher rates of infertility have been linked, so often female athletes need the help of fertility drugs to become pregnant.
It may be possible that she is attempting to start a family. This also could help explain why Gabi hasn't competed in an IBJJF tournament since the 2013 Worlds, nearly a year ago at this point.
While this isn't the only possible explanation for the presence of Clomiphene in her system, it should be taken into account and snap conclusions should be tempered. There are stories of Clomiphene being used as a masking agent, but USADA appears to be satisfied that Garcia did not use it as such.
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