Returning MMA legend B.J. Penn won’t be fighting at UFC 199 next week after all. Penn was expected to come out of retirement to face featherweight Cole Miller, but was pulled on Monday from the fight card and also provisionally suspended for a “potential Anti-Doping Policy violation” with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
According to the UFC, Penn was flagged for the use of an IV “in excess of 50 mL in a six-hour period” during a USADA out-of-competition drug test taken in March. Apparently, Penn “voluntarily disclosed” the IV usage and said he was unaware that the substance was entirely banned by USADA.
The rule for IV usage had changed since my last fight in the UFC and 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.
Penn, 37, a former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion initially retired in July 2014 after competing against Frankie Edgar at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale. He lost via third-round TKO. Talk about Penn returning to MMA was first reported in February.
At the moment, the UFC brass is currently looking for an opponent for Miller. UFC 199: Rockhold vs. Bisping 2 takes place on June 4 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Official UFC Statement
The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed BJ Penn of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation. 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.
UFC will announce a replacement opponent for Miller shortly, and additional information will be provided by USADA and UFC at the appropriate time as the process involving Penn moves forward.