UFC heavyweight ‘Big’ Ben Rothwell hasn’t fought since 2016, and he’ll be out a while longer as USADA has handed him a lengthy suspension.
Nearly lost in all the chaos surrounding UFC 223 on Friday was the news that Ben Rothwell has been banished from competition for two years by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. In a press release distributed Friday, USADA announced that Rothwell had accepted the two year ban, following a pair of positive drug tests in February 2017.
Rothwell (36–10) was last seen in action against Junior dos Santos back in April 2016, where he lost a unanimous decision. On Friday, USADA revealed that Rothwell had tested positive for an “anabolic androgenic steroid of exogenous origin” in out of competition tests on February 6 and February 15, 2017. Such agents are banned at all times under the UFC’s Anti-Doping Policy, which USADA runs.
In his defense, Rothwell submitted evidence that he had been prescribed testosterone. The heavyweight “submitted medical records demonstrating that testosterone was prescribed and administered to him by his physician,” Friday’s USADA press release noted. However, he had not obtained a therapeutic use exemption (TUE). USADA’s Independent Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee later determined he was not eligible for one.
Rothwell’s suspension will be served retroactively from the date of his first positive test, on February 6, 2017.