UFC Strawweight Jessica Penne Accepts 20-Month USADA Sanction

UFC strawweight Jessica Penne’s fighting career doesn’t have to end now as initially feared.

Penne hasn’t competed since April 2017. Injuries have plagued Penne but she was also dealing with a potential career-ending situation. The 115-pounder was facing a four-year suspension from USADA following her second violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy. The 37-year-old was preparing to sue USADA but an agreement has been reached.

Jessica Penne Accepts USADA Suspension

USADA has announced that Penne has taken a reduced suspension after it was determined that the UFC strawweight did not intend to cheat in her first violation.

“USADA announced today that Jessica Penne, of Chula Vista, Calif., accepted a 20-month sanction for her second anti-doping policy violation.

Penne, 36, tested positive at trace levels for two metabolites of stanozolol, 16β-hydroxystanozolol and 3′-hydroxystanozolol, as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample she provided on April 8, 2019. Stanozolol is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and UFC Prohibited List.

USADA determined that a reduction to the otherwise applicable period of ineligibility was appropriate in this case due to the totality of circumstances, including the complexity of issues, as well as Penne’s participation in discussions with USADA following her initial public comments in January. Furthermore, under the current UFC Anti-Doping Policy, USADA did not pursue an enhanced sanction for a second violation because USADA determined that Penne was not intending to cheat when she committed her first violation, as her use of the prohibited anabolic agent dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in a dietary supplement was based upon the recommendation of her physician related to a medical issue.”

Penne will be eligible to return to action on or after Dec. 8, 2020. She is currently on a three-fight skid. Penne, who once challenged for the UFC strawweight title, hasn’t won a bout since Dec. 2014. During her skid, Penne has lost to Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Jessica Andrade, and Danielle Taylor.

While Penne is just 1-3 inside the Octagon with the one victory being a split decision, she certainly made waves outside the UFC. Penne was the inaugural Invicta FC atomweight champion. She ended up losing the gold to Michelle Waterson, who has established herself in the UFC strawweight rankings.

Time will tell what awaits Penne when her sanction is up. For now, she can relax knowing that she can return at the end of this year rather than having to end her career.

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