Ben Rothwell might be out of UFC 211.
According to a statement released by the UFC on Tuesday, Rothwell tested positive for a banned substance in an out-of-competition drug test administered by USADA on February 6. As a result, Rothwell was given a provisionary suspension as further investigations are being carried out.
Rothwell was expected to face former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum in the co-main event of UFC 211 on May 13. The UFC has not yet officially called off the fight so it is still unclear whether Werdum will receive a new opponent.
Rothwell’s management team released the following statement to MMAFighting.com regarding the potential Anti-Doping Policy violation.
“With the recent news received from USADA, I would like to take this time to let everyone know I have been under the care of a physician and trying to overcome a medical illness,” the statement read, “I would appreciate the chance to show that I have not cheated nor did I intend to cheat. Please hold your opinions of me until all the facts are out. I appreciate everyone's support as I go through the process with USADA.”
The full statement released by the UFC can be read below.
“The UFC organization was formally notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Ben Rothwell of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection on February 6, 2017.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed.
Consistent with all previous potential anti-doping violations, additional information or UFC statements will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.”