UFC Heavyweight Ben Rothwell has been suspended for 9 months for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone. According to Rothwell, he was granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption for Testosterone by the athletic commission in Wisconsin. However, the commissions hands were tied when it came time to punish him because they currently don’t have any rules in their unified rules for punishing a TUE offender. The UFC has stepped in and suspended Rothwell for 9 months, and according to multiple reports Rothwell’s win over Brandon Vera will remain in place as the commission doesn’t have the ability to overturn the win.
Rothwell made a statement to MMAJunkie:
“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.”
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