Ricardo De La Riva has responded to the sexual misconduct allegations made by former student Claudia Do Val. Speaking via his Instagram page, he made two posts, one in English and the other in Portuguese.
“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”.
Going by the furore this has stirred up in the BJJ community, this wont be the last time we hear about this.