Former bantamweight title contender Raquel Pennington has been handed a six-month suspension after self-reporting a doping violation to USADA.
In a statement issued prior to the official announcement, Pennington explained how she took medications prescribed by a doctor for an unnamed medical condition, only to then discover that two of them were on USADA’s banned list.
“I wanted you to hear this from me first,” Pennington wrote in a statement released on social media. “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.
“As USADA’s forthcoming statement will show, I fully cooperated with them and provided them with 100% honesty. 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. #TeamRocky #BeBackInMay.”
Below you can also read USADA’s own statement on the matter.
“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,” USADA officials wrote. “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.”
The 32-year-old Pennington is coming off a decision victory over Marion Reneau back in June of last year, but has only won two of her last four fights since losing by TKO to 135lb champ Amanda Nunes back in 2018.