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BJ Penn suspended six months by USADA for IV use, eligible for UFC return in September

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has suspended B.J. Penn for a period of six months by after "The Prodigy" was flagged for running afoul of the intravenous (IV) rehydration policy earlier this year.

USADA announced the punishment earlier today (Mon., June 27, 2016) via MMA Fighting:

USADA announced today that Jay Dee ("BJ") Penn of Hilo, Hawaii, an athlete in the UFC, has accepted a 6-month sanction for an anti-doping policy violation for his use of a prohibited method.

During an out-of-competition test on March 25, 2016, Penn declared the use of an intravenous infusion of a non-prohibited substance. A subsequent investigation by USADA revealed that the intravenous infusion received by Penn was administered in a volume greater than 50 mL within a 6 hour period. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, intravenous infusions in a volume greater than 50 mL within a 6 hour period are prohibited, except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures or clinical investigations. Intravenous infusions received in any other setting require an approved Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

Penn, 37, voluntarily disclosed his use of the intravenous infusion and fully cooperated with USADA's investigation into the circumstances regarding his violation. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, the standard period of ineligibility may be reduced due to an individual's voluntary admission of a violation and/or pursuant to an analysis of the individual's degree of fault for the violation. Here, after taking both of those factors into consideration, USADA determined that a 6-month period of ineligibility was an appropriate sanction under the rules for Penn's violation.

Penn's period of ineligibility began on March 25, 2016, the date on which he admitted his anti-doping policy violation to USADA.

As  result of his infraction, Penn was pulled from his scheduled fight against Cole Miller, which was set to go down at UFC 199 on June, 4, 2016, in Los Angeles, California.

Penn -- who seems to have found a new lease on his mixed martial arts (MMA) career training at the famed Jackson-Wink camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico -- recently called out ex-Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre to a Lightweight scrap at UFC 205 in New York.

And since that pay-per-view (PPV) event is set to go down in September, Penn's sentence will have already been completed, as his penalty will be retroactive to a date of March 25, 2016.

Good timing?

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