UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell is all set to fight Andrei Arlovski at UFC on ESPN 4 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas this weekend. This will be his second fight in four months.
Before he fought in April against Blagoy Ivanov at UFC Fight Night 86 where he suffered a unanimous decision loss. This fight, however, was his first in nearly three years, as he was suspended for two-years by United States Anti-Doping Agency back in April of 2018 after he had tested positive for an anabolic steroid test conducted on February 6, 2017, and February 15, 2017.
Although Rothwell said that he had been prescribed testosterone by his doctor and had also submitted the medical records of his treatment to the USADA, but the anti-doping agency didn’t think that Rothwell met the criteria for Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). Now Rothwell has opened up about the horrors of his suspension and how the agency threatened him with a four-year suspension if he went ahead with the arbitration.
UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell spoke with the TSN MMA Show and opened up about his negative experience with USADA and says that they threatened him with a four year suspension if he chose to go to arbitration.
Full interview will be released tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/XSNmvyPvmc
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) July 17, 2019
“I was going through medical problems, I was being treated by doctors and USADA didn’t agree with the treatments and for 15 months we fought,” Rothwell told the TSN MMA Show. “I had two board-certified endocrinologists, I had a Wisconsin State Athletic Commission doctor all fighting with USADA about my medical condition. The first TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption), they came back, the doctors rebutted everything and USADA came up with a whole other set of reasons of what was wrong and they rebutted those too and they just said ‘you know what, this is how it is and if you want to go to arbitration, we’re going to give you a four-year suspension.”
However, ultimately Rothwell didn’t go with the arbitration because he was only a few months away from completing his suspension and it would cost him about $30,000 to fight USADA and he decided that it was not worth it.
“No they don’t care about that, they don’t care about anything, they just smash guys when they can burn us at the stake as Josh Barnett said,” said Rothwell. “That’s why for Josh Barnett to step up and do what he did and win in arbitration, it was a really big thing, but the timing was really bad because I would’ve gone to arbitration a month later and I knew they weren’t going to let that happen again. Everything was just kind of against me and I just said, I’m going to get through this. I don’t get happy about much, but I’m happy to be fighting again.” (H/T – TSN MMA)