Ben Rothwell Accepts Two-Year Suspension for Anti-Doping Violation

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced today that UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell, of Kenosha, Wis., has accepted a two-year sanction for a violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy after testing positive for a prohibited substance.

Rothwell, 36, tested positive for the presence of an anabolic androgenic steroid of exogenous origin following out-of-competition tests conducted on February 6, 2017, and February 15, 2017. Sophisticated carbon isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (GC/C/IRMS) analysis confirmed the presence of a synthetic anabolic agent in Rothwell’s sample. Exogenous anabolic androgenic steroids are classified as non-Specified Substances in the category of Anabolic Agents and are prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

Rothwell was scheduled to face Fabricio Werdum at UFC 211 in May 2017 but the bout was canceled after Rothwell’s positive test results.

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Upon notification of his potential violation, Rothwell claimed that his positive test had resulted from his physician’s prescription of testosterone. During USADA’s investigation, Rothwell submitted medical records demonstrating that testosterone was prescribed and administered to him by his physician. Although Rothwell’s use of testosterone was under the supervision of his physician, USADA’s independent Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) committee determined Rothwell was unable to meet the criteria to obtain a TUE to authorize his use of the prohibited anabolic agent under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.

Rothwell’s two-year period of ineligibility began on February 6, 2017, the date his first positive sample was collected. He’ll be eligible to compete again in February 2019.

Pursuant to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, all UFC athletes serving a period of ineligibility for an anti-doping policy violation are required to remain in the USADA registered testing pool and make themselves available for testing in order to receive credit for time completed under their sanction.