Raquel Pennington pens letter following USADA violation announcement.
Former UFC title contender, Raquel Pennington, has been flagged by USADA and suspended for six-months following what she says was a medical mistake. Pennington says she saw a doctor for a medical condition and was treated for it before realizing she should have notified USADA. She did so but was flagged by the anti-doping agency anyway.
Read Raquel Pennington’s full statement here
I wanted you to hear this from me first,” she wrote on her Instagram on Thursday. “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 percent 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.
USADA’s official statement says that Pennington self-reported the use of two prohibited substances – 7-keto-DHEA and AOD-9064 on Nov 17, 2020. She “was eligible for a reduction to the period of ineligibility” due to her self-reporting according to USADA. She will be eligible to return to the Octagon in May.
Pennington defeated Marion Reneau in June 2020 via a unanimous decision.