Kade Ruotolo put in an incredible performance at ADCC 2022 when he became the youngest champion in the organization’s history; he submitted all four of his opponents to win the 77kg division and according to him, entirely without the use of PEDs. FloGrappling caught up with Ruotolo shortly after his second match at ADCC 2022, a heelhook victory over Roberto Jimenez to finish off the first day, and discussed his thoughts leading into the second day. During the interview he was talking about the fact that Jimenez actually has two previous victories over him, but he doesn’t feel any animosity towards him as the two are pretty friendly.
That’s when someone in the background, who sounds like it might be his brother Tye Ruotolo, interjects and proclaims them to be ‘Team Natty’. Kade Ruotolo replies and makes a bold statement about how common the use of PEDs actually is at ADCC, guessing that only four of this year’s athletes are actually natural:
“Team Natty. Exactly. Pretty sure me, my brother and him (Roberto Jimenez) and AJ are the only natty guys in this thing. So, Team Natty – let’s go.”
While this might seem like a bold claim at first, it’s worth remembering that ADCC does not drug test any competing athletes. It’s pretty much an open secret that there are plenty of athletes using PEDs as a result of the lack of testing and it’s something that the community at large accepts as a fact at this point. In fact, two-time ADCC veteran Mahamed Aly has openly admitted past usage of PEDs and Dillon Danis made explosive claims that he was offered PEDs by Jake Shields prior to his ADCC appearance.
Of course, this isn’t something unique to ADCC as the vast majority of BJJ events do not test the competitors for PEDs and the IBJJF only tests the winners of adult black belt divisions at the world championships. Felipe Pena actually failed a 2021 drug test as an IBJJF world champion, and competed in both the over 99kg and absolute division at ADCC 2022.