Ben Rothwell has been handed a nine month suspension from the sport after he was found to have elevated levels of testosterone following his third round victory over Brandon Vera at UFC 164 back in August.
Rothwell has actually been granted a theraputic use exemption that allowed him to have testosterone replacement therapy in the lead-up to the fight. However, that only allows a fighter to raise his testosterone levels to within normal parameters and it appears that Rothwell’s exceeded those levels.
The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services who oversaw the event opted not to suspend him, instead handing him an “administrative warning”, however the UFC have since stepped in and handed him the nine-month ban instead.
It’s not clear at this stage whether Rothwell’s win will now be amended to a no-contest ruling as is often the case under these circumstances.
Rothwell has since issued a comprehensive statement which you can read in full below.
“Following my victory at UFC 164 I was informed I tested for an elevated level of testosterone. This came as a shock because I had applied for and was granted a TRT exemption and was doing so under the supervision of a doctor. I was tested every week for eight weeks prior to the fight and was well under the acceptable level each time.
“I had applied for TRT after an endocrinologist and Wisconsin athletic doctors diagnosed me with hypogonadism. They felt it was caused by a car crash in 1999 that left me with severe head trauma and in a coma. Doctors told me TRT was something that could stop the hypogonadism from degrading my body.
“After getting the news of the elevated test, I spoke with the Wisconsin Athletic Commission and they decided to give me an administrative warning. I was told they didn’t think I tried to cheat, but felt some punishment was necessary.
“I have now been informed the UFC has elected to suspend me for nine months. I am not going to fight the suspension as I feel ultimately it is my responsibility to make sure I stay under the acceptable limit. I am deeply sorry for this mistake and apologize to my fans, family and friends.” – Ben Rothwell