It was revealed in January of 2018 that Penne had been suspended 18 months by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for failing a drug test. Penne served her sentence and was set to return last year at UFC Fight Night Fort Lauderdale, but then USADA informed Penne of another drug test failure and the fighter was pulled from that card as well.
Penne, who was recently informed that she could be facing a four year suspension after the second drug test failure, has taken to Instagram to post the following lengthy statement:
In her Instagram statement, a clearly frustrated Penne not only talks about her problems dealing with USADA, but Penne also hints at possibly retiring from professional MMA competition if the four year sentence is not eliminated or reduced. The UFC star also talks about spending thousands of dollars to battle USADA and how the drug testing agency negated all of her drug test results, which the fighter had done via independent testing.
The UFC VP Of Athlete Health & Performance Jeff Novitzky, according to Penne, did say that Penne could take USADA to court, but it could cost anywhere between $30,000 and $40,000 to do so. Penne also asserts that a USADA agent named “Nadia” was simply on a witch hunt against her so “Nadia” can prove the relevancy of her job within USADA. Penne also, in her statement, says that “Nadia” said that the only way she could get a reduced sentence was if Penne opted to rat out other fighters and/or coaches.
To close her statement on Instagram, another thing Penne claims is that USADA wants her to sign a letter agreeing to the four year suspension, which Penne says will not happen.
There has been no statement issued yet by either the UFC or USADA as to what Penne had posted on Instagram.
A short time after this story went up, a statement was issued by USADA on the matter to MMA Fighting:
“Given Jessica Penne’s public statement, we can confirm her positive test for stanozolol. However, there are many factual inaccuracies and unfounded allegations in her statement, including that she has been forced out of UFC. In fact, she has exercised her right to contest her case before an independent arbitrator, per a request USADA received after she released her public statement. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, all athletes have the right to present the facts and circumstances during a full evidentiary hearing. We look forward to the opportunity to present the facts and evidence through this process.”