Barnett’s Stream of Misfortune

By Jake Rossen Jul 23, 2009
Cementing speculation running throughout the industry, the California State Athletic Commission confirmed to Sherdog.com that ousted Affliction heavyweight contender Josh Barnett’s urine turned up positive for steroids. Specifically, the metabolite 2a-methyl-5a-androstan-3a-ol-17-one. Rolls right off the tongue, no?

Chemists may recognize 2a-methyl-5a-androstan-3a-ol-17-one as an indicator of the drug Drostanolone, an anabolic commonly used when one wants to avoid the side effect of increased estrogen while reducing body fat and minimizing water retention. (Per Bodybuilding.com, which is lightning-quick in reminding readers that the information shared is for “entertainment purposes only.") Less practical applications include ambitions for mass gain, strength or fighting Fedor Emelianenko.

While I hate to paint Barnett with too heavy a brush before more facts are known, it is somewhat rare to see smoke in the absence of fire. This is Barnett’s second career pharmaceutical controversy, the initial one being possibly the first example of a (publicly disseminated) positive steroid test in mixed martial arts. In 2002, Barnett was alleged to have used -- among other drugs -- Boldenone, a veterinary steroid that promotes a stronger appetite and better protein synthesis.

He will almost certainly appeal the result, as most athletes do when confronted with a boiling urine sample. If he didn’t do it, he didn’t do it. But if he did, it would be refreshing to hear an athlete admit responsibility -- as Hermes Franca
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