BJ Penn receives six month suspension by USADA, calls out GSP

BJ Penn has received a six-month suspension by USADA for his use of an out-of-competition IV.

In May, news broke that the former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion was pulled from of his UFC 199 bout against Cole Miller and was provisionally suspended for voluntarily disclosing his use of an out-of-competition IV to USADA.

Penn was randomly tested on March 25 when he declared to USADA officials that he used an IV under medical supervision. Results of the test revealed that the administered IV was greater than the allowed threshold of 50mL in six hours.

The six-month suspension will end on September 25 which means that Penn will be able to make his return from retirement at UFC 205 in NYC, an event that he has expressed desire to be a part of. In a tweet posted just a few days ago, Penn called out long-time rival and former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.

The full statement released by USADA on Penn’s suspension can be read 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.

USADA conducts the year-round, independent anti-doping program for all UFC athletes. USADA is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental agency whose sole mission is to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport, and protect the rights of clean athletes. The anti-doping program run by USADA for UFC athletes includes education, science and research, testing, and results management. Official UFC Anti-Doping Program information and athlete resources are available at"


Jamal Khayat is a writer for RoughCopy MMA. He began his training in combat sports in 2009 and has competed as an amateur in both MMA and boxing. He is currently pursuing a B.S. degree in Physics at the University of Central Florida.


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