Former UFC champion B.J. Penn has been issued a six-month suspension for violating the organization’s anti-doping policy.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) on Monday issued a release stating that Penn “has accepted a 6-month sanction” stemming from “intravenous infusion of a non-prohibited substance.”
The UFC Anti-Doping Policy prohibits “all IV infusions and/or injections of more than 50mL (~3.4 tablespoons) per 6 hour period,” both in and out of competition, “except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures or clinical investigations, without an approved Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).”
“Penn, 37, voluntarily disclosed his use of the intravenous infusion and fully cooperated with USADA’s investigation into the circumstances regarding his violation,” USADA stated. “Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, the standard period of ineligibility may be reduced due to an individual’s voluntary admission of a violation and/or pursuant to an analysis of the individual’s degree of fault for the violation. Here, after taking both of those factors into consideration, USADA determined that a 6-month period of ineligibility was an appropriate sanction under the rules for Penn’s violation.”
Penn’s six-month sit is retroactive to March 25, the date on which he disclosed his IV use to USADA. That means the Hawaiian will be eligible to return to the Octagon in September, though Penn recently proposed a November matchup against old rival Georges St. Pierre.
Hey @GeorgesStPierre if you can make 155 easily, I'm free in November and would love the opportunity to fight you at 155 pounds in New York.— BJ PENN (@bjpenndotcom) June 27, 2016
“Hey @GeorgesStPierre,” Penn wrote on Twitter, “if you can make 155 easily, I’m free in November and would love the opportunity to fight you at 155 pounds in New York.”
St. Pierre, who beat Penn via split decision in 2006 and via technical knockout in 2009, is set to return to the UFC after a three-year hiatus and recently stated that he could “easily” make 155 pounds with a change in diet. The date proposed by Penn would be Nov. 12, when UFC is set to make its New York City debut with a card at Madison Square Garden.