UFC Strawweight competitor Jessica Penne last fought in April of 2017 at UFC Fight Night 108 in Nashville. Penne recently took to her personal Instagram page and provided an update on her absence from the octagon and made the claim that USADA has essentially bullied and forced her into retiring from MMA. She noted in her post that she was advised by her doctor to start an over the counter medication that would balance out her hormone levels. She added that she followed the rules to the best of her abilities and she thought that having a doctor’s note for the over the counter prescription would be good enough to present to USADA but it was not and she was suspended for 18 months. She shared that she drove Lyft, taught private lessons and did anything she could to get by financially during that suspension.
She tested positive for an “extremely low level” of stanozolol which is an anabolic steroid. Following Jessica’s statement, USADA issued the following statement 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.”
Penne was scheduled for a UFC on ESPN event in February of 2019 but due to an injured ankle, she was pulled from the event. At the conclusion of her statement on Instagram, she expressed that she is innocent and USADA has prevented her from making a living. She and her manager are going to create a GoFundMe to see if they can raise money so she can possibly take USADA to court but that would cost in-between $30,000-$40,000.