UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn was pulled from his return fight on Monday after he was flagged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for a potential UFC Anti-Doping Policy violation.
The UFC released a statement on Monday indicating that Penn had been flagged for violating the doping policy’s IV ban.
“Penn disclosed the usage of a prohibited method – the use of an IV in excess of 50 ML in a six-hour period – during a March 25, 2016, out-of-competition sample collection. In accordance with the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, Penn has received a provisional suspension, and has been removed from his scheduled bout against Cole Miller on June 4 in Los Angeles.”
The fight with Miller would have been Penn’s first since July 6, 2014. At that time, the IV ban was not in effect. Late Monday, Penn released a statement admitting to the IV usage, but said that he was unaware of the change in policy.
“I voluntarily disclosed to USADA that during a non-fight period that I had an IV administered under the care of a doctor,” read Penn’s statement on his official site, BJPenn.com.
“The rule for IV usage had changed since my last fight in the UFC and I was unaware of the change and voluntarily disclosed the information to USADA. I had no idea that IV use was banned 365 days a year.
“At no time in my career in martial arts have I ever doped and anticipate all test results from USADA will come back clean and will be working with the UFC to get the matter cleared up and return to fight as soon as possible.”
In the meantime, originally planned for March, Penn’s return has been sidelined yet again. UFC officials indicated that they are working to find a replacement to keep Miller on the UFC 199 fight card.