UFC legend BJ Penn has been removed from his scheduled UFC 199 fight with Cole Miller next month due to an apparent USADA violation during an out-of-competition test in March. The UFC released the following statement.
“The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed BJ Penn of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation. Penn disclosed the usage of a prohibited method – the use of an IV in excess of 50 ML in a six-hour period – during a March 25, 2016, out-of-competition sample collection. In accordance with the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, Penn has received a provisional suspension, and has been removed from his scheduled bout against Cole Miller on June 4 in Los Angeles.
“UFC will announce a replacement opponent for Miller shortly, and additional information will be provided by USADA and UFC at the appropriate time as the process involving Penn moves forward.”
Here’s the kicker though, the violation seems to stem from the use of an IV to rehydrate and Penn voluntarily disclosed the information to USADA during the out-of-competition testing process. In other words, if he had not disclosed the information, they would not have known. Penn said in a statement on his website that he had no idea IV use was banned 365 days a year (and not just during the weight-cutting process prior to weigh-ins).
“I voluntarily disclosed to USADA that during a non-fight period that I had an IV administered under the care of a doctor.
“The rule for IV usage had changed since my last fight in the UFC and was unaware of the change and voluntarily disclosed the information to USADA. I had no idea that IV use was banned 365 days a year.
“At no time in my career in martial arts have I ever doped and anticipate all test results from USADA will come back clean and will be working with the UFC to get the matter cleared up and return to fight as soon as possible.”
Penn was originally expected to end his “retirement” and compete at UFC 197 in April, however, an investigation was launched by the UFC after a former employee of Penn’s made claims of sexual misconduct and Penn was removed from that card. After it was determined no charges would be filed, Penn was set to return against Dennis Siver at UFC 199. Then Siver pulled out due to injury and Cole Miller was named as Penn’s next opponent.
And now this.
Will “The Prodigy” ever make his return to the Octagon or is it just not in the cards?
Penn last fought in July 2014 when he dropped a third round TKO to opposing TUF 19 coach Frankie Edgar at the Finale. It was his third straight loss and he subsequently announced his retirement at the post-fight press conference.