UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell has been notified of a potential anti-doping policy violation in connection with an out of competition drug test on February 6th, 2017.
USADA notified the UFC that Ben Rothwell’s out of competition drug test from a sample taken on February 6th, 2017, has led to a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation, likely taking him off of the UFC 211 card in May.
Rothwell was scheduled to face Fabricio Werdum on May 13th. The bout is currently not listed on the UFC 211 card on the UFC.com site. When an athlete has a potential anti-doping policy violation they are usually provisionally suspended until the violation is resolved.
USADA refers to any failed drug test as a “potential anti-doping policy violation” until the fighter has accepted his or her punishment and gone through the appeals process. Neither USADA nor the UFC have released any information on what, exactly, caused Rothwell to be in violation of the policy.
Standard procedure at USADA is to not disclose or discuss pending cases, except where the athletes themselves have previously discussed the case publicly. As such, we probably won’t know the exact circumstances of the failure until Rothwell discusses it, or until the process is complete.
Rothwell released the following statement to MMAFighting.com:
“With the recent news received from USADA, I would like to take this time to let everyone know I have been under the care of a physician and trying to overcome a medical illness.
I would appreciate the chance to show that I have not cheated nor did I intend to cheat. Please hold your opinions of me until all the facts are out. I appreciate everyone’s support as I go through the process with USADA.”
Rothwell was previously suspended by the UFC in 2013 after testing above the allowed testosterone limit while receiving testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) under a therapeutic use exemption. Per the terms of the UFC’s anti-doping policy, USADA may take this into account when determining his punishment at their discretion.
This story has been updated to include Ben Rothwell’s statement, and details on his previous PED test issues.