UFC bantamweight contender Raquel Pennington has been suspended six months by the United States Anti-Doping Agency after self-reporting a doping violation.
USADA explained the Pennington situation in a statement on Thursday.
“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,” the USADA statement read. “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.”
Pennington also issued her own statement on social media, giving her side of the story.
Here’s the facts. Please read. pic.twitter.com/XYmSOJ4Zs6
— Raquel Pennington (@RockyPMMA) January 28, 2021
“I went to my physician about a medical condition I was experiencing and was prescribed several medications to treat the condition,” Pennington wrote (h/t MMA Fighting). “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 issues. 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 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,” Pennington added. “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.”
Raquel Pennington will be eligible to compete again after May 17.