BJ Penn's return to action will have to wait even longer. The UFC Hall of Famer was provisionally suspended on Monday after he disclosed the use of a prohibited IV during an out-of-competition drug test from March.
Penn was scheduled to face Cole Miller at UFC 199 but the fight has now been cancelled and pulled off the card completely.
"The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed BJ Penn of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation," UFC officials revealed on Monday. "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.
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"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."
According to the code from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), "intravenous infusions and/or injections of more than 50 ML per 6 hour period are prohibited except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures or clinical investigations."
Obviously, Penn didn't fall into one of those categories and after he disclosed his IV use, USADA flagged him for a potential violation and he was pulled from UFC 199.
Penn issued a statement via his website after news of his removal from UFC 199 was made public.
"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 could potentially face a lengthy suspension as a result of the infraction, which means his return to action could be delayed much longer than just being taken off UFC 199.
Penn was coming back from retirement after he called it a career in 2014 following a loss to Frankie Edgar. Most recently, Penn had started training under coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn in New Mexico to prepare for his return to the Octagon.
Now there's no telling when Penn may be able to fight again as he deals with the fallout from this potential anti-doping violation from USADA.
UFC 199 now moves forward with 13 bouts minus the fight between Penn and Miller.