Felipe Pena tests positive for PEDs, stripped of 2021 Worlds championship

On Thursday, USADA and the IBJJF announced that 2021 IBJJF absolute world champion Felipe Pena has tested positive for performance enhancing drugs and, as a result, has accepted a one-year period of ineligibility from IBJJF compeition. Consistent with the organization’s rules, the IBJJF has stripped Pena of his 2021 Worlds title.

Pena tested positive for the banned substance clomiphene on December 12, 2021, while at the 2021 Worlds. Pena’s one-year period of inactivity began on January 7, 2022.

Pena won the 2021 Worlds absolute title under unique circumstances. After both he and rival Nicholas Meregali won their way to the absolute finals, Meregali was disqualified from the competition for making a lewd gesture during the semifinal match of his weight division. Rather than having Pena face a replacement for Meregali in the absolute final, Pena was awarded the gold by default.

Pena is slated to face Gordon Ryan in a highly anticipated third match between the pair. That match will take place under the Who’s Number One banner, which does not adhere to USADA testing. Accordingly, that match will go forward. Pena has beaten Ryan twice before, most recently in 2017.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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