Barnett: ‘I Am Embarrassed’

By Brian Knapp Jul 23, 2009
Bounced from perhaps the most important fight of his career by a failed California State Athletic Commission drug test, former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett faced the music.

The CSAC this week denied the 31-year-old a license for his scheduled bout against Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction “Trilogy” on Aug. 1 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The positive test for a banned performance enhancer left the show without its main event and left many to question’s Barnett’s place in the sport. He issued a statement on his MySpace page on Thursday.

“My representatives and I are working to gather as much info as possible and handle this situation as best as we can,” Barnett said. “I am embarrassed and want nothing more than to resolve this issue and receive a license from the state of California, as I have done many times already and for other states, as well. I am very thankful for all the great family, friends and fans that still support me.”

Barnett’s test was positive for 2a-methyl-5a-androstan-3a-ol-17-one, according to the CSAC, which learned of the results Tuesday and informed promoters Affliction Entertainment and M-1 Global that the heavyweight’s showdown with Emelianenko would not be approved.

The CSAC said Barnett’s test was “observed in the presence of a CSAC representative and the sample was sent to the World Anti-doping Agency test facility” at UCLA.

“When applying for my license, the CSAC asked for me to submit a urine sample for testing prior to granting my license, as they do with everyone, I believe,” Barnett said. “It was not a random test. I had no reason to believe there would be any issues and went in to submit my sample at the earliest possible opportunity on June 25. I never once thought there would be a problem.”

Barnett was suspended for six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in 2002 due to a post-fight urinalysis that revealed the presence of three anabolic agents (Boldenone metabolite, Fluoxymesterone metabolite and Nandrolone metabolite) in his body when he defeated Randy Couture to win the title. Barnett denied using the anabolic steroids and challenged the NSAC’s testing protocol.
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