Longtime UFC women’s 135-pound title contender Raquel Pennington was taking medication for an undisclosed medical condition when a random search for its ingredients returned banned substances under USADA.
“Rocky” immediately contacted the anti-doping regulators and informed them of the situation. A subsequent drug test confirmed the No. 4-ranked bantamweight was positive for 7-keto-DHEA, resulting in a reduced suspension.
Pennington retraces her steps on Twitter:
“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 contacted the UFC to report this potential issues. 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 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 percent 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.”
Pennington, 32, will be eligible to compete after May 17.
After a four-fight win streak earned her a crack at the bantamweight title, Pennington (11-8) — a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 — struggled to stay consistent, posting a 2-3 record dating back to her Amanda Nunes loss.
The good news for “Rocky” is that she’s coming off a victory over Marion Reneau at the UFC on ESPN 11 event back in June 2020 and will now have plenty of time to rest up her mind and body while on suspension.
See you this summer.