Circumstances of Gracie’s Death Questioned

By Gleidson Venga Dec 18, 2007
Representatives from the State Council on the Rights of the Human Person (Condepe) have asked São Paulo's secretary of public security to investigate the death of Ryan Gracie (Pictures).

Gracie was arrested last Friday afternoon and charged with car theft and the attempted theft of a motorcycle. The same day he went through an examination of evidence in the Medical Legal Institute.

Called by the family, psychiatrist Sabino de Farias Ferreira Neto accompanied the fighter and took a urine sample, which indicated the presence of drugs in Gracie's body. The doctor said he provided at least six types of medication. Gracie, who was alone in his cell, was found dead Saturday around 8 a.m.

The Condepe questioned the procedure of the police to allow a doctor to monitor the fighter at the station. The Gracie family has said it will inquire about the doctor and the State over the death.

"Doctor Sabino is crazy, a murderer," Flávia Gracie, sister of the fighter, said in statements to the Brazilian press. "I told him to stop giving medicine to my brother. He said it was to prevent Ryan from being aggressive at the station. I argued that too much medicine would hurt, and the doctor replied that any remedy hurt, even aspirin."

"Ryan, although wrong, had to be arrested and charged for crimes," said Robson Gracie, Ryan's father. "But his death is another thing. I will inquire about that quack doctor."

Neto denied that the cocktail of drugs he gave Gracie is responsible for his death.

"As I told a colleague, the dose that was applied was so little," he said. "I have the greatest regret for what happened, but I fought against this with all I know."

Neto said he understands the pain of the family when they announced that they would inquire about him.

"It is a right of anyone," he said. "I understand and respect the emotional experience for them at this time."

The Condepe also wants to investigate the conduct of police and the Medical Legal Institute because Gracie was not taken to an emergency room, even though he had "suffered blows to the head and was under the influence of drugs."

Gracie was buried Sunday in Rio de Janeiro at the age of 33. He was wearing a gi and his black belt.

Several family members attended, including his parents, Robson and Vera; his brothers Renzo, Ralph and Flávia; his cousins Royler and Kyra; and Murilo Bustamante (Pictures), Vinicius Magalhaes and Roberto "Gordo" Correa.

"For those left behind is much worse than for those who go away," Royler Gracie (Pictures) told the Tatame Web site. "I am sure that Ryan, like Carlson, like all others who have died in the family, are well now, are resting, are reposing. Those who are here will suffer a bit more to continue this, our everyday war. It is the time of rest for the warrior."

A report on the cause of death should be ready in 30 days. One possibility doctors have suggested is cardio-respiratory failure due to a cocaine overdose.

The police will also investigate whether the use of drugs combined with medication may have caused the death.
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