UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell has been suspended for nine months following a test that showed elevated levels of testosterone. In an usual step, the suspension came not from the regulating body, which in this case was the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, but rather from the UFC itself. The Wisconsin AC had determined simply to issue an administrative warning.
Rothwell released a message to MMA Junkie on what transpired.
"Following my victory at UFC 164 I was informed I tested for an elevated level of testosterone," said Rothwell. "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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