Penne Out Till October Due To USADA Violation

USADA has handed down the first suspension of 2018, as Jessica Penne will miss most of the year due to a doping violation.

USADA announced on Friday, that the veteran fighter has tested positive for the presence of an anabolic steroid of exogenous origin following an out-of-competition test in relation to a sample taken on March 20th, 2017.

An anabolic steroid positive usually leads to a two-year suspension, but Penne was able to explain that she was taking a substance that contained the steroid under the care of a physician. USADA wrote that Penne was not able to receive a retroactive therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which was the anabolic agent that caused the positive, which she said was recommended to her by a doctor.

Penne’s March 20 test initially came back as negative. USADA did a review of Penne’s Athlete Biological Passport, which led to the the sample being “flagged for additional analysis due to an increased degree of variability in urinary biomarkers measured in the sample.” The sample was then run through a carbon-isotope ratio mass spectrometry analysis, which confirmed the presence of a synthetic anabolic agent, per USADA.

Penne actually fought during this process at UFC Nashville on April 22nd, where she lost by unanimous decision to Danielle Taylor. Penne’s period of ineligibility began the day after that, so she’ll be able to return to the UFC on Oct. 22nd 2018.

After hearing about being flagged for a potential anti-doping policy violation, Penne cooperated with USADA and identified the DHEA supplement as the possible cause for the positive drug test. The agency and the Tennessee Athletic Commission accepted Penne’s explanation, USADA wrote, which is why the sanction was reduced from two years to 18 months.

Penne is a former Invicta FC women’s atomweight champion. She was a UFC women’s strawweight title challenger in 2015, falling to Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Penne, a Southern California native, has lost three straight fights.

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