Former UFC heavyweight champ Josh Barnett flagged for anti-doping violation
Former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett was notified today of a possible anti-doping policy violation. It is not the first time that Barnett has tested positive for banned substances.
Barnett made his UFC debut at UFC 28 on November 17, 2000 against 6′ 10″ Gan “The Giant” McGee and Barnett won via TKO in the second round. He would bounce back and win his next two fights over 7′ 0″ Dutch kickboxer Semmy Schilt via armbar submission, and then received a submission win in a rematch with Bobby Hoffman.
Subsequent to his win over Hoffman, Barnett tested positive for banned substances and was given a warning by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Barnett was then given a title shot for the UFC Heavyweight Championship against then-champion and future UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. He won via TKO after using the ground and pound technique and became the new and youngest-ever UFC heavyweight champion. However, after the bout it was revealed that he had again tested positive for banned substances and his title was stripped.
Blamed for Fall of Affliction MMA
In January 2009, Barnett fought PRIDE veteran Gilbert Yvel at Affliction: Day of Reckoning.
Barnett defeated Yvel by a submission resulting from strikes in the third round.
His next match-up, scheduled on August 1, 2009 against Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction’s 3rd event Affliction: Trilogy, was one of the most anticipated match-up between the then ranked number one Heavyweight Emelianenko and number two Heavyweight Barnett.
However, the fight was officially pulled 10 days before the fight by the California State Athletic Commission after Barnett tested positive for anabolic steroids (a metabolite of drostanolone)for a second time. The event and Affliction Entertainment itself was cancelled July 24, 2009 as a result. Barnett requested that they test his “B” sample hoping there was an error in the test. His “B” sample was also positive.
Due to the positive drug tests, Barnett made a re-licensure appeal to the California State Athletic Commission(CSAC). The CSAC postponed Barnett’s appeal three times. The first two postponements occurred because Barnett’s law firm required additional information from the laboratory that conducted Barnett’s tests. Michael J. DiMaggio, Barnett’s attorney, was unable to attend the hearing because of travel problems, causing the third extension, which would have taken place 22 February 2010.
Barnett was a no-show at his hearing on February 22, 2010, making this the fourth delay in his appeal. Shannon Hooper, Barnett’s manager, told MMAjunkie.com that on Monday February 22, 2010 Barnett was in Japan on Sunday February 21, 2010 for a professional wrestling match and would return to the U.S. later that day. He claimed he was unaware that his presence was required, but the CSAC stated they had notified him of this months before. Barnett later signed on with MMA organization Strikeforce.
After the UFC purchased Strikeforce, Barnett initially declined to sign with the promotion but eventually came over. His most recent UFC win was a September submission over former champion Andrei Arlovski.
The UFC organization was formally notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Josh Barnett of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection on December 9, 2016.
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.