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'I am proud of how I handled this' - Raquel Pennington releases statement explaining six-month USADA ban

UFC 181 - Raquel Pennington v Evans-Smith
UFC 181 - Raquel Pennington v Evans-Smith
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 01 Mar 2021
News

UFC fighter Raquel Pennington has been given a six-month ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for the use of two prohibited substances – 7-keto-DHEA and AOD-9064.

Raquel Pennington (11-6) will be ineligible to compete in the UFC until the sanction, which began on November 17, 2020, is lifted. Raquel Pennington self-reported to the USADA after discovering that medication she took contained prohibited substances.

USADA alleviated Raquel Pennington's sentence due to her cooperation and forthright declaration about the substances. Anti-doping tests are conducted year-round independent and random tests on all UFC athletes.

The current No. 4 UFC women's bantamweight contender had a title shot against Amanda Nunes for the women's bantamweight belt but was defeated in the fifth round via a technical knockout by punches. Raquel Pennington's ban still did not reflect on the UFC women's bantamweight ranking.

What Raquel Pennington had to say about the ban

Raquel Pennington released a lengthy statement on her Twitter account, where she described what caused the prohibited substances to be found in her samples. She also apologized and asked for the support of her fans:

"I wanted you to hear this from me first. 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 contracted 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% 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," Raquel Pennington wrote.
Published 29 Jan 2021, 05:03 IST
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