BJ Penn admits to use of IV and is pulled from UFC comeback fight

The MMA legend was set to fight at UFC 199 against Cole Miller

BJ Penn admits to use of IV and is pulled from UFC comeback fight

Image: Gregory Payan / AP/Press Association Images

BJ Penn's comeback fight in the UFC has been put on hold after the legendary MMA fighter was  provisionally suspended for a "potential Anti-Doping Policy violation" with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Penn has been pulled from the UFC 199 card where he was set to fight Cole Miller. He admitted to the use of an IV "in excess of 50ml in a six-hour period" during a USADA out-of-competition drug test taken on 25 March.

"I voluntarily disclosed to USADA that during a non-fight period that I had an IV administered under the care of a doctor," Penn said on his own website.

"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.

"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."

The use of IVs over 50ml per six-hour period are prohibited both in-competition and out-of-competition by World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines. The only exception to this, WADA says, is "for those legitimately received during a hospital admission, surgical procedure, or as part of a diagnostic clinical investigation."

The former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion last fought in July 2014 when he was beaten by Frankie Edgar via third-round TKO.

UFC Statement regarding BJ Penn

"The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed BJ Penn of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation. 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.”