B.J. Penn may have suffered a setback, but can still conceivably make his comeback this year.
The UFC’s third-party anti-doping partner USADA announced Penn six month suspension in for IV usage Monday. Penn informed USADA that he had used an IV out of competition on March 25. His suspension will be retroactive to that date and Penn will be able to return to the Octagon beginning Sept. 25.
The USADA release said the IV infusion Penn received was greater than 50 mL within a six-hour period, according to the findings of an investigation. A volume that large over that that amount of time is prohibited by the UFC’s anti-doping policy, unless the fighter needs an IV during hospital admission, surgery or clinical investigations. However, the substance Penn took via the IV was not prohibited by the UFC’s anti-doping policy. In all other cases, a fighter would need a therapeutic use exemption (TUE).
Penn (16-10-2) was supposed to face Cole Miller at UFC 199 on June 4 in Inglewood before being pulled from the card due to the potential violation in May. The Hawaiian legend of MMA is one of only two men to hold UFC titles in two different weight classes. Penn now trains at JacksonWink MMA in Albuquerque and has not fought since 2014 after losing a rubber match to Frankie Edgar.