USADA Suspends Raquel Pennington For Six Months Due to Violation of UFC Anti-Doping Policy

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Former women’s bantamweight title challenger, Raquel Pennington, accepted a six-month suspension earlier today that handed down by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency due to a self-reported violation.

The United States Anti Doping Agency announced today that Pennington reported the use of two prohibited substances –7keto-DHEA, and AOD-9064– on November 17, 2020. As a result, USADA collected an immediate urine sample and the results came back positive for 7-keto-DHEA.

“During her self-report, Pennington provided information that she was prescribed and provided 7-keto-DHEA and AOD-9064 by a doctor to help treat a medical condition,” USADA said in a written statement. “After using the substances for a short period of time, she conducted research and learned that they were prohibited substances and immediately came forward about her use to USADA. 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 period of ineligibility began on November 17, 2020, the date she declared the use of prohibited substances and her positive sample was collected.”

When news broke that Pennington had accepted the six-month suspension, she took to her social media to share her side of the story.

“I went to my physician about a medical condition I was experiencing and was prescribed several medications to treat the condition,” Pennington wrote in a Twitter post. “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. I want to make it very clear that there was nothing that forced me to report this to UFC and ultimately USADA. No one knew about this except myself and my physician and USADA had not collected a sample from me since I started my medications. This was simply me realizing a potential mistake and wanting to do the right thing.”

“As USADA’s forthcoming statement will show, I fully cooperated with them and provided them with 100 percent honesty. I was not trying to cheat, skirt the rules or trying to gain a performance advantage. I was simply trying to treat a medical condition and made the mistake of not timely checking the status of these medications. I want to apologize to all of my fans and publicly make the commitment that I will be much more careful in the future and not let this happen again. I hope that I can serve as a role model in showing that we all make mistakes but it is what you do after realizing those mistakes that define your true character.”

Pennington will be eligible to compete again six months from that date that she self-reported on November 17, 2020. Having already served a portion of her sanction, she will be eligible to compete after May 17 which is a little over three months away.

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