Jessica Penne Suspended 18 Months Following UFC Anti-Doping Policy Violation
Former UFC title contender Jessica Penne has been suspended 18 months by USADA following a positive drug test from an out of competition sample collected on Mar. 20, 2017.
USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) announced the news on Friday via a press release.
According to USADA, Penne tested positive for “an anabolic androgenic steroid of exogenous origin” but the results weren’t discovered until after her most recent fight against Danielle Taylor at UFC Fight Night in Nashville in April.
“Although Penne’s sample was initially reported as negative for prohibited substances on the standard out-of-competition testing menu, upon review of Penne’s Athlete Biological Passport, the sample was subsequently flagged for additional analysis due to an increased degree of variability in urinary biomarkers measured in the sample,” USADA officials stated.
“Sophisticated carbon isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (GC/C/IRMS) analysis confirmed the presence of a synthetic anabolic agent in Penne’s sample. Before the reanalysis of her sample was completed, Penne fought at the UFC Fight Night event in Nashville on April 22, 2017, an event sanctioned by the Tennessee Athlete Commission.”
Following the positive drug test, Penne immediately identified the supplement she was taking with the banned substance DHEA, an exogenous anabolic agent, as recommended to her by a physician. USADA corroborated Penne’s explanation but she was denied a retroactive therapeutic use exemption.
Still, USADA ultimately reduced Penne’s sentence from two years down to 18 months following the investigation into her positive drug test.
The 18-month suspension was retroactive to April 23, 2017 — one day after her last fight in the UFC — which means Penne will be eligible to return to action after Oct. 23, 2018.