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Jessica Penne ready to battle USADA, camp launches GoFundMe campaign to 'save her career' - MMA Junkie

  • 13 January 2020

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One day after revealing her struggles with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Jessica Penne is turning to the public to help aid her battle against the UFC’s official anti-doping partner.

With Penne (12-5 MMA, 3-1 UFC) facing a potential four-year suspension for what USADA has labeled a second infraction of the UFC Anti-Doping Program, the former Invicta FC atomweight champion and onetime UFC strawweight title challenger Friday revealed she doesn’t have the money it would take to battle the agency in court and said the sanction would essentially end her career. Now her reps at SuckerPunch Entertainment have launched a GoFundMe campaign in an effort for Penne to have her day in court.

I am setting up this campaign on behalf of my client, Jessica Penne. Jessica is a UFC strawweight who has been wrongly suspended for the last 3 years by USADA for claims that are proven invalid. She served the suspension but again has been accused of a violation in which her along with the help of the UFC have found to be a mistake. She spent all of her remaining savings on the testing of products to fight and prove her innocence which paid off (as the tests came back in her favor). She now has all of the paperwork that proves her innocence but is left in the position to have to fight USADA head on in court. This campaign is set up to help raise the money to cover the legal fees and save her career before its to late. From here team here at SuckerPunch Entertainment we thank everyone for their support and we are ready to fight this and get her back in competition.

Thank you,

Team Penne

Penne’s campaign has an initial goal of $40,000, an amount she indicated in her initial statement she believes it will take to cover the legal fees necessary to prove her case.

On Friday, Penne revealed she had been presented with a four-year USADA sanction, which she has refused to sign, instead declaring her innocence. The order stems from the results of an April 2019 drug test in which Penne said “an extremely low level of stanozolol was found was found in my system (picogram levels).”

At the time, Penne believed contaminated supplements to be the culprit, and she paid to have independent testing done on the products she was taking – one of which she said was found to have stanozolol, a synthetic steroid that is banned at all times under USADA code.

Penne’s manager, Brian Butler-Au, shared a screenshot of the results, which the fighter assumed would clear her return to competition, via his Instagram story.

While Penne has indicated she has received support from UFC officials during this process, the company has yet to issue a statement. Meanwhile, USADA officials have indicated they find “factual inaccuracies and unfounded allegations” in Penne’s claims and “look forward to the opportunity to present the facts and evidence” in a future hearing.

Penne has already served an 18-month suspension due the finding of an anabolic steroid of exogenous origin in association with an out-of-competition test taken in March 2017.

Penne did not publicly discuss the matter at the time, but in her recent statement said she “was upset because I did not knowingly break the rules but I took ownership, kept my mouth shut and served my sentence.” That order was reduced from two years to 18 months due to Penne’s willingness to cooperate with USADA’s investigation, as well as the indication that she was taking the anabolic agent dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) under doctor’s orders.

Penne has not fought since an April 2017 loss to Danielle Taylor.

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