Ricardo De La Riva Responds To Claudia Do Val Allegations

Just recently, Claudia Do Val took part in an interview that sent shockwaves through the BJJ community when she recounted a disturbing incident with her previous coach, Ricardo De La Riva. While Do Val was understandably vague as she had to fight through tears to get her story out there, the incident in question amounted to a sexual assault allegation against De La Riva. De La Riva gave his response to the interview via an Instagram post on his official Instagram page:

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For the past 40 years, I have started a great history on the mats that with a lot of team work, strength, determination, respect, character and passion for Jiu Jitsu, has gotten us united as a real family. There are more than 80 De La Riva schools around the world and approximately 3 thousand students that are guided by me and by the other coaches. In all those years, my reputation was built grounded by ethics, respect and commitment to all my students. As everybody knows, this path was paved with a lot of dedication and honor. I always had an ethical conduct, and has been respected by my family, friends and all my students. It was with perplexity and consternation that I heard Claudia do Val´s (an athlete of De La Riva team for about 10 years), allegations last Saturday. Me and my family were surprised by an irresponsible and false accusation. For a while now, her statements do not live up to the partnership spirit that we are all so proud of, and reached its peaks in the last days, revealing ingratitude to all the work, support and coaching that were given in favor of her professional evaluation. In the past 5 years, Claudia has reached her professional peak, winning a lot of championships, conducting seminars, gaining great notoriety in Jiu Jitsu world, which reflects, for sure, the great team and professional work that was done by the De La Riva family. It is important to say that in times of social media, as you all well know, any reckless statement can grow to epic proportions, having the power to irreversibly harm a reputation, since the mere allegation is enough to convict in the court of public opinion. [continue in coments]

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“For the past 40 years, I have started a great history on the mats that with a lot of team work, strength, determination, respect, character and passion for Jiu Jitsu, has gotten us united as a real family.
There are more than 80 De La Riva schools around the world and approximately 3 thousand students that are guided by me and by the other coaches. In all those years, my reputation was built grounded by ethics, respect and commitment to all my students.
As everybody knows, this path was paved with a lot of dedication and honor. I always had an ethical conduct, and has been respected by my family, friends and all my students.
It was with perplexity and consternation that I heard Claudia do Val´s (an athlete of De La Riva team for about 10 years), allegations last Saturday. Me and my family were surprised by an irresponsible and false accusation.
For a while now, her statements do not live up to the partnership spirit that we are all so proud of, and reached its peaks in the last days, revealing ingratitude to all the work, support and coaching that were given in favor of her professional evaluation.
In the past 5 years, Claudia has reached her professional peak, winning a lot of championships, conducting seminars, gaining great notoriety in Jiu Jitsu world, which reflects, for sure, the great team and professional work that was done by the De La Riva family.
It is important to say that in times of social media, as you all well know, any reckless statement can grow to epic proportions, having the power to irreversibly harm a reputation, since the mere allegation is enough to convict in the court of public opinion.
I have always been a reserved person centered on my family. Because of that and, above all, in respect of my beloved wife that has been so supportive in this time, I am already in touch with my lawyers for them to undertake every action to safeguard my image and reputation, in order to clarify those unfounded accusations.
Despite of all that, as a coach, I keep wishing that Claudia finds her path and have great achievements in her personal and professional life.
Thank you all for the support.”