B.J. Penn may yet get to make his return to MMA in 2016, with USADA announcing on Monday that they’ve reached a settlement for his punishment over disclosed IV use above their allowable threshhold.
Penn admitted to receiving a doctor recommended IV of a non-prohibited substance prior to an out of competition test, and was facing up to a two year suspension per USADA’s regulations. However, due to his admission and extenuating circumstances, they reduced that to six months.
Read USADA’s full statement below:
USADA announced today that Jay Dee (“BJ”) Penn of Hilo, Hawaii, an athlete in the UFC, has accepted a 6-month sanction for an anti-doping policy violation for his use of a prohibited method.
During an out-of-competition test on March 25, 2016, Penn declared the use of an intravenous infusion of a non-prohibited substance. A subsequent investigation by USADA revealed that the intravenous infusion received by Penn was administered in a volume greater than 50 mL within a 6 hour period. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, intravenous infusions in a volume greater than 50 mL within a 6 hour period are prohibited, except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures or clinical investigations. Intravenous infusions received in any other setting require 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. 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 period of ineligibility began on March 25, 2016, the date on which he admitted his anti-doping policy violation to USADA.
Penick’s Analysis: Penn still seems intent on returning to the cage despite having been out since July of 2014. This just delays things to the fall after previous delays this spring, but he’s continuing to train and expects to actually get back into the Octagon. This makes it a potential reality again, because a longer suspension would have likely made his return unlikely.
[Photo (c) Stephen R. Sylvanie via USA Today Sports]
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