Image source: Jessica Penne Instagram (@jessicapenne)
UFC strawweight competitor, Jessica Penne, has failed a USADA drug test for stanozolol and claimed USADA is forcing her to retire.
Yesterday, Jessica Penne released an official statement on her Instagram stating that she is being bullied by USADA and forced into retirement after failing a drug test. Penne believes the failed drug test is a result of a tainted, over the counter, supplement that was taken on the advice of her doctor to balance her hormone levels.
Penne’s statement was very long and shows she has invested a lot of time, energy and money into fighting against this case. Penne claims that the USADA representative showed no remorse for her situation and that she has no money and had to start driving for Lyft to make ends meet.
The former title challenger also stated that the levels of stanozolol found in her system were incredibly low and would not have any performance enhancing effects. Finally, she stated that UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance, Jeff Novitsky, believes her case and has advised that she hires a lawyer and takes the fight to caught but this would cost between $30,000 and $40,000.
Interestingly, Penne stated that USADA have asked Penne to inform them of other known PED users in the sport to reduce her sentence and have also requested that she sign a letter agreeing to the sanction which Penne has refused to sign.
You can read Penne’s full Instagram post.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, USADA have now responded to Jessica Penne’s claims saying there are many factual inaccuracies inside of her statement.
“Given Jessica Penne’s public statement, we can confirm her positive test for stanozolol. 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.”
It looks like Penne may have to take this particular fight to the courtroom but raising the funds to do so could prove problematic. Her manager has started a GoFundMe to raise the capital to hire a lawyer, but Penne is not holding her hopes high.