Jessica Penne is currently battling United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for a second banned substance violation that could land her a career-ending, four-year suspension from competition.
The former UFC women’s strawweight title challenger took to social media yesterday to deliver an emotionally-charged explanation of her actions, self-proclaimed innocence, and how she ended up where she is today. Penne’s passionate cry for justice certainly didn’t fall on deaf ears around the combat community, but USADA doesn’t seem too convinced.
In a recent statement to MMA Fighting, USADA officials refuted Penne’s claims and confirmed that she has exercised her right to challenge the second violation through an independent arbitrator.
“Given Jessica Penne’s public statement, we can confirm her positive test for stanozolol,” read the statement. “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.
Unfortunately for Penne, bringing this case to an independent arbitrator could in fact cost her upwards of $30,000-$40,000 in personal expenses. Penne mentioned this in her social media outburst earlier this week and expressed her cause for concern considering the professional fighter hasn’t competed since 2017 and has turned to odds jobs to make ends meet.
With Penne taking this case to an independent arbitrator, USADA will not be releasing any additional details at this time until both sides are heard in a full evidentiary hearing.
Stick with Mania for more details regarding Penne’s career-threatening clash with USADA.