Penne Says USADA is Ending Her Career, USADA Responds
Jessica Penne released a statement on social media on Friday, Jan. 10, discussing her continued issues with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the UFC’s official anti-doping partner, and claiming USADA may bring an end to her MMA career.
According to Penne, a series of tests and events have led to USADA potentially handing her a four-year suspension. At the age of 36, such a suspension could effectively kill any chance Penne would have of returning to active competition in MMA, whether in the UFC or outside of it.
Penne was given an 18-month ban after testing positive for dehydroepiandrosterone in an out-of-competition test, avoiding a two-year ban after admitting to taking the anabolic agent thanks to a substance she was using per a physician’s approval.
Penne says from that point, a suspension that she claims “broke” her and forced her to take “odd jobs” to make ends meet, she planned to be more careful with what she put in her body. She was set to make her UFC return at UFC Phoenix back in February 2019, but an injury the day of the event forced the bout’s cancelation.
She was then re-booked for April but was pulled after testing positive for “an extremely low level of stanozolol.” Penne says she has spent thousands of dollars trying to prove her innocence, and that UFC senior vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky and UFC vice president of athlete and performance Donna Marcolini have been exhausting their resources for their fight.
Penne’s manager, Brian Butler, issued his own statement on the matter.
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It is disgraceful what is happening to @jessicapenne by USADA. We are all for a clean sport but the system has flaws obviously and they need to be addressed. We have had the support of the UFC team and they have been behind us nonstop to prove our case but it seems that common sense and human decency is not black and white.
In response, USADA issued its own statement, claiming Penne’s statement is filled with inaccuracies.
Given Jessica Penne’s public statement, we can confirm her positive test for stanozolol. However, there are many factual inaccuracies and unfounded allegations in her statement, including that she has been forced out of UFC.
In fact, she has exercised her right to contest her case before an independent arbitrator, per a request USADA received after she released her public statement. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, all athletes have the right to present the facts and circumstances during a full evidentiary hearing. We look forward to the opportunity to present the facts and evidence through this process.
Original Story: MMA Fighting