Forget about Conor McGregor and UFC 223, heavyweight fighter Ben Rothwell pushed his way into the mixed martial arts (MMA) limelight earlier today (Fri., April 6, 2018) when United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced “Big Ben” accepted a two-year suspension dating back to his failed drug tests on Feb. 6 and Feb. 15, 2017.
Both tests were out-of-competition and showed that Rothwell popped for “an anabolic androgenic steroid of exogenous origin.” Rothwell, 36, was yanked from his matchup with Fabricio Werdum at UFC 211 after the test results surfaced.
Rothwell, who also tested positive for elevated testosterone levels following his TKO victory over Brandon Vera back in 2013, attempted to prove his innocence by explaining that his physician prescribed him testosterone. USADA did not buy Rothwell’s bid for Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), stating that the heavyweight was “unable to meet the criteria to obtain a TUE to authorize his use of the prohibited anabolic agent.”
As a result of the suspension, Rothwell will not be eligible to return to action until Feb. 6 of next year. That means “Big Ben” will be sidelined for nearly three years since his unanimous decision loss to former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos at UFC Fight Night 86 back in April 2016.
Before his loss to JDS and eventual USADA suspension, Rothwell had racked off four-straight victories at heavyweight and was inching extremely closer to his first UFC title shot.