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UFC Fighter Jessica Penne Accepts 18-Month Suspension for Failed PED Test

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2018

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 21:  Jessica Penne poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at the Sheraton Music City Hotel on April 21, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

UFC fighter Jessica Penne accepted the 18-month suspension the United States Anti-Doping Agency levied against her after she tested positive for a banned substance. 

USADA confirmed Penne will serve the suspension, which went into effect beginning April 23, 2017. That was the day after she lost to Danielle Taylor at UFC Fight Night 108.

The drug test Penne ultimately failed was performed on March 20, 2017, more than a month before she met Taylor in the Octagon.

Although Penne's test came up negative for any banned substances, "the sample was subsequently flagged for additional analysis due to an increased degree of variability in urinary biomarkers measured in the sample," according to USADA.

In the statement about Penne's suspension, USADA said Penne claimed her positive test was the result of taking dehydroepiandrosterone, a supplement her physician had referred to her. While the agency corroborated those claims, it declined to supply Penne with a therapeutic use exemption.

USADA did, however, lessen Penne's suspension, which would have otherwise resulted in a two-year ban.

Penne is 1-3 in UFC since arriving from Invicta, where she beat Naho Sugiyama in October 2012 for the atomweight title. Penne unsuccessfully challenged Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the UFC women's strawweight title at Fight Night 69 in June 2015.

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