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UFC puts B.J. Penn return on hold following sexual assault allegation

BJ Penn

The UFC announced Thursday that they have postponed plans to use Hall of Famer B.J. Penn on an upcoming show after a sexual assault claim was made against him.

"UFC is aware of the recent allegations made against B.J. Penn. The organization requires all athletes who compete in the UFC to act in an ethical and responsible manner, as detailed in the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy. UFC will not tolerate violations of the policy. Every athlete is deserving of proper review and this situation, as with any serious investigations, will be investigated by an independent party and thoroughly reviewed by the UFC.  The UFC organization will also cooperate with any law enforcement investigations.  In light of the serious allegations, UFC has postponed plans to book Penn for an upcoming bout until more details are determined.

"UFC holds athletes who compete in the organization to the highest standard and will continue to take appropriate action, if and when warranted.  It is important to note that Penn is considered innocent until proven guilty and UFC is not prejudging this matter."

Earlier in the week, Pedro Carrasco, a former reporter with BJPenn.com that had left the site in October, had gone on Twitter with allegations that Penn had sexually assaulted his girlfriend.

Even though this alleged attack took place in Hilo, Hawaii, the alleged victim, a 29-year-old woman, filed a police report on Tuesday in Delaware County, Ohio, claiming the incident took place in August. The report has been sent to the Hilo, Hawaii, police department.

Penn, 37, who had retired after a loss to Frankie Edgar on July 6, 2014, was expected to return on UFC's April 23 show, although that had not been officially announced by the company. He has been training at Greg Jackson's gym in New Mexico.