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USADA suspends B.J. Penn six months for IV use

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

B.J. Penn can resume his comeback this year.

USADA suspended Penn six months for IV usage Monday, the UFC's third-party anti-doping partner announced. 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. In all other cases, a fighter would need a therapeutic use exemption (TUE).

The substance Penn took via the IV was not prohibited by the UFC's anti-doping policy, the release said.

Penn, 37, was supposed to face Cole Miller at UFC 199 on June 4 in Los Angeles before being pulled from the card due to the potential violation in May. The Hawaii native is a legend of MMA and one of only two men to hold UFC titles in two different weight classes.

Penn (16-10-2), now training at JacksonWink MMA in Albuquerque, has not fought since 2014 and has not won a fight since 2010.