Thursday, January 27, 2022

Raquel Pennington Accepts Six-Month USADA Sanction In Unique Case

Raquel Pennington has accepted a six-month USADA suspension for violating the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.

It was announced Thursday that Raquel Pennington has accepted a six-month sanction for testing positive for two banned substances: 7-keto-DHEA and AOD-9064. Prior to USADA’s official statement, Pennington published a statement herself describing what led to the suspension:

“Here are the facts. I went to my physician about a medical condition I was experiencing and was prescribed several medications to treat the condition,” Pennington wrote. “Unfortunately, I took the medications for a brief period of time, before realizing I should have checked on their status under the program. I soon discovered that these medications may be prohibited, so I immediately stopped taking the medication and contacted the UFC to report this potential issue.

Miesha Tate Retires After Loss to Raquel Pennington at UFC 205
Raquel Pennington & Miesha Tate At UFC 205. Image: Adam Hunger, USATSI

“I want to make it very clear that there was nothing that forced me to report this to UFC, and ultimately USADA,” the statement continued. “No one knew about this except myself and my physician, and USADA had not collected a sample from me since I started the medications. This was simply me realizing a potential mistake and wanting to do the right thing.”

USADA’s statement coincides with Pennington’s account of events. The agency declared that “Pennington was eligible for a reduction to the period of ineligibility based on her forthright declaration prior to sample collection and for her Full and Complete Cooperation.” Pennington’s six-month suspension is retroactive to November 17, 2020.

Raquel Pennington last competed at UFC on ESPN: Blaydes vs. Volkov in July 2020, earning a unanimous-decision victory over Marion Reneau. In 2018, Pennington challenged Amanda Nunes for the bantamweight championship and lose the bout via fifth-round TKO in what was a resilient performance. She is currently ranked #4 in the bantamweight division.

What are your thoughts on this unique case that led to Raquel Pennington’s USADA suspension?

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