The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has routinely handed out suspensions to UFC fighters that do not make much sense. Bantamweight title challenger Raquel Pennington has been the latest to be hit with such a sanction.
The last time we saw Pennington in the Octagon, she was beating Marion Reneau by unanimous decision. This was back in June, and it was her second fight of 2020, after dropping a decision to Holly Holm in their rematch.
All in all, “Rocky: has gone 2-3 since a four-fight winning streak led her to a title shot against Amanda Nunes. However that recent win seemed to signal a return to form for the TUF alumni.
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Raquel Pennington Announces Forthcoming USADA Ban
Unfortunately it is going to be a bit before we see Raquel Pennington back in the Octagon again. In a lengthy statement to her social media, the 32-year old revealed that she is going to be on the receiving end of an incoming USADA suspension.
According to the post, she took some medicine that was prescribed by a doctor, but failed to check if it was on the list of USADA’s banned substances. Despite not being tested since taking the medicine, and notifying USADA of the mistake herself, she is still being sanctioned.
“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,” Pennington wrote.
“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 contacted 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,” Pennington continued.
“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.”
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This is beyond frustrating and disappointing for Raquel Pennington. The fact that she was prescribed the medication by a doctor, voluntarily admitted her mistakes, and did not fail a test, but she is still being punished must be infuriating.
It seems that Raquel is facing a six month suspension for this ridiculous sanction. That being said, this is not the first time that there have been these types of questionable suspensions.
It is clear that they are making strides towards improving the system, but there is something to be said for the idea of a fighter being punished for listening to their doctor.