UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn will have to wait for his return to the Octagon.
Originally slated to return to the cage against Cole Miller at UFC 199 next month, Penn has been pulled from the bout for a potential anti-doping violation. The news surfaced late Monday night.
According to FOX Sports, Penn “disclosed the use of a prohibited IV during an out-of-competition drug test from March.”
The UFC released a statement after learning the news.
“The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed BJ Penn of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation,” the statement read. “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.”
Penn responded with a statement of his own on his website, BJPenn.com.
“I voluntarily disclosed to USADA that during a non-fight period that I had an IV administered under the care of a doctor. 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,” Penn said.
“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 was set to return to the Octagon since his “retirement” back in 2014.
If he faces a lengthy suspension for the violation, it could very well put an end to the 37-year-old’s comeback.
We will have to wait and see what type of punishment, if any, Penn faces.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports