Jessica Penne won’t be fighting anytime soon after failing a drug test back in March 2017. Penne received an 18-month suspension from USADA due to the failed test, officials with the anti-doping said on Friday.
USADA claims Penne tested positive for anabolic steroids during a test conducted on March 20, 2017. Fighters who test positive for steroids typically face a two-year suspension, however, Penne was able to prove she was taking a medication under the guidance of her physician that contained the banned steroid.
While her March test initially turned up negative, further review of Penne’s Athlete Biological Passport by USADA officials was “flagged for additional analysis due to an increased degree of variability in urinary biomarkers measured in the sample.”
Further testing on the sample Penne provided USADA showed synthetic steroids were indeed in her system.
Penne was denied a retroactive therapeutic use exemption for the steroid, despite the fact that it was recommended to her by a doctor, according to Penne.
She was able to compete in April while the matter was being adjudicated, losing to Danielle Taylor at UFC Nashville in April. Penne’s suspension was given out a day later, meaning she will be out of action until at least October 22, 2018.
The 34-year-old UFC strawweight holds a 12-5 record and is currently on a three-fight losing streak. She was previously the atomweight champion in Invicta and fell to former UFC strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2015.