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Editor’s note: This article has been updated at 3 p.m. ET on
Jan. 28 to add the official sanction from the U.S. Anti-Doping
Agency.

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Ultimate Fighting Championship
bantamweight Raquel
Pennington
did not want the story coming from anyone but her
first.

On Thursday, Pennington announced on social media that
she has inadvertently violated anti-doping policy from prescribed
medicines to recover from a medical condition. The U.S. Anti-Doping
Agency subsequently
released information regarding her violation
, writing that two
substances of 7-keto-DHEA and AOD-9064 — both banned anabolic
agents — were reported by her. First announced by ESPN
shortly after she released her statement, Pennington has been
issued a six-month suspension following her cooperation and
reporting of the issue.

“Rocky” clarified that she did not in fact test positive for
anything, but rather informed USADA that she took these medicines.
Pennington stated that she fully cooperated with the drug-testing
agency, and that she willingly informed them of these substances.
Past examples of USADA suspending fighters that disclosed they had
taken substances include Lyoto
Machida
for DHEA and Mirko
Filipovic
for hGH. Her six-month ban will lift in May, dating
back to her report on Nov. 17.

Pennington has alternated wins and losses in her last four, with
decision victories over Irene
Aldana
and Marion
Reneau
interspersed between decision defeats to Holly Holm
and Germaine
de Randamie
. The Colorado native faced Amanda
Nunes
for the belt at UFC 224 in 2018, and she suffered a
fifth-round defeat to the champ. Before meeting Nunes, Pennington
rattled off a four-fight win streak, the longest of her career,
where she notched victories over Miesha Tate
and Jessica
Andrade
along the way.

In her statement, she wrote:

“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. 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,” she continued. “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% honest. I was not trying to
cheat, skirt the rules or 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.

“I hope that I can serve as a role model in showing that we all
make mistakes,” she concluded, “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. #TeamRocky.”

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