Mahamed Aly is quite comfortably at the very top tier of professional grappling and has become one of the few people to openly discuss PED usage in the sport. The young Brazilian has already done well on the BJJ scene after being awarded his black belt in 2015 and was a consistent feature on the podium of plenty of major tournaments in his first few years competing at the highest level, but really hit his stride in 2017.
This was the year that he managed to win the IBJJF European Open in the gi and earn double gold in the no gi edition of the same tournament. Shortly after this, he reached the biggest moment of his career with an IBJJF World Championship gold medal. Most recently, Aly was seen coming up just short at ADCC 2019 when Lachlan Giles pulled off the unthinkable and submitted him to earn a bronze medal in the absolute division.
Mahamed Aly hosted a question and answer session on his official Instagram page and was asked about PED usage by one of his fans. The answer he gave to “Do you take a lot of anabolics?” has been translated by FloGrappling:
“Man, I have taken, but it’s not something I do. At the end of the day I don’t think it’s good for my performance. I think that it takes away from your feeling of deserving it. Doing something that in theory is illegal, it takes away from your sense of worthiness.”
Aly is not the only BJJ competitor to have taken PEDs and he certainly won’t be the last. With the sport’s lax approach to drug testing and the number of competitors who have failed drug tests, it’s no surprise that athletes feel the need to take them to stay on the same level. What will be interesting to see as the years go by, is how many high-level competitors like Aly will feel comfortable in discussing steroids in the sport more openly.