Raquel Pennington

Raquel Pennington explains circumstances that led to USADA suspension

UFC bantamweight Raquel Pennington has come out to announce that she will be accepting a suspension for the U.S Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The former title challenger wanted to set the record straight before the UFC or USADA leaked this information themselves. Pennington unknowingly took banned substances prescribed by her doctor for a medical condition. In turn, she will be suspended for action for six months.

“I wanted you to hear this from me first,” Pennington wrote on Instagram. “This morning, USADA will be announcing a violation I committed of the UFC anti-doping policy. Here are the facts. I went to my physician about a medical condition I was experiencing and was prescribed several medications to treat the condition. 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 the medications. This was simply me realizing a potential mistake and wanting to do the right thing.”

Pennington’s last fight in the UFC was on June 20, when she defeated Marion Reneau by unanimous decision. She is currently sitting in the fourth spot in the official UFC rankings. She could be looking at a potential title shot with another big win in the division.

“As USADA’s forthcoming statement will show, I fully cooperated with them and provided them with 100% honesty,” Pennington statement read. “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. I believe that my actions shown in these events show everyone what I am made of, and while I regret making this mistake, I am proud of how I handled this and hope that you are of me as well. Thank you for your understanding and your support.”

This suspension began at the date of reporting which was on November 17, 2020, which means she will be eligible to return to action on May 17, 2021.

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Nicole Bosco