The United States Anti-Doing Agency (USADA) has notified UFC heavyweight Josh Barnett of a potential anti-doping violation. The violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy resulted from an out-of-competition sample collected on December 9, 2016. It marks the fourth time that Barnett has tested positive for anabolic steroids and/or performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in his 19-year mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
“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,” according to a statement posted on the UFC website.
The name of the prohibited substance discovered in Barnett’s most recent sample was not publicly revealed. There is a good chance it is a steroid. Barnett’s three previous failed drug tests with three different MMA promotions – UFC, PRIDE and Affliction – all involved anabolic steroids.
Barnett tested positive for steroids for the very first time at UFC 34: High Voltage in Las Vegas on November 2, 2001. He was found to have two different types of steroids in his system when he defeated Bobby Hoffman by submission. However, Barnett was not disqualified because the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) didn’t have an anti-doping policy yet. Barnett’s steroid positive was reportedly the impetus behind NSAC’s decision to implement an official anti-doping policy in 2002.
Barnett tested positive for three different steroids to defeat Randy Couture via TKO for the heavyweight title at UFC 36: Worlds Collide in Las Vegas on March 22, 2002. NSAC identified boldenone (Equipoise), fluoxymesterone (Halotestin) and nandrolone (Deca Durabolin) metabolites in a mandatory post-fight sample. Barnett was stripped of his title as a result. Barnett denied using steroids and fought the charge.
When the NSAC ruled against him and suspended him, Barnett left the UFC promotion as a result. He didn’t fight again in the United States for 4-1/2 years. Barnett moved to Japan where he frequently fought under the PRIDE promotion with its “anything goes” policy on steroid use.
Barnett tested positive for drostanolone (Masteron) prior to a scheduled fight against former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction: Trilogy in Anaheim, California on August 1, 2009. The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) refused to grant Barnett a license to fight as punishment for the steroid positive and the fight was cancelled.
Prior to his latest potential anti-doping violation, Barnett has passed all drug tests administered to him since rejoining the UFC in 2013. Barnett had been tested 13 times by USADA in 2016 and passed every single one of them until the December 9th test.
Barnett and his long-time representative Leland LaBarre have yet to respond to the latest failed drug test.