Ben Rothwell was notified of a potential drug test failure by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for an out of competition sample collected on February 6 of last year.
The drug testing organization has now announced that Rothwell has accepted a two year suspension for the failed drug test.
USADA issued the following statement on the matter:
USADA announced today that 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.
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.
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.
USADA conducts the year-round, independent anti-doping program for all UFC athletes. USADA is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental agency whose sole mission is to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport, and protect the rights of clean athletes. In an effort to aid UFC athletes, as well as their support team members, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on the UFC Anti-Doping Program website (https://UFC.USADA.org) regarding the testing process and prohibited substances, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. In addition, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, Drug Reference Online (https://UFC.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, and periodic athlete alerts.
Along with education and testing, robust anti-doping programs enable investigations stemming from tips and whistleblowers. USADA makes available a number of ways to report the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs in sport in an effort to protect clean athletes and promote clean competition. Any tip can be reported using the USADA Play Clean Tip Center, by email at [email protected], by phone at 1877-Play Clean (1-877-752-9253), or by mail.
Since the suspension is retroactive to the date of the testing failure, a suspended Rothwell is going to be able to compete again on February 6 of next year.
Neither the UFC or Rothwell himself have yet to comment on the suspension issued by the drug testing organization.