News surfaced Tuesday evening that UFC heavyweight Josh Barnett had failed a USADA drug test earlier this month. According to UFC.com, Barnett failed a random out-of-competition drug test on December 9th.
Unfortunately, this is the third time Barnett has failed a drug test during his time with the UFC. In 2001, Barnett failed his first drug test with the UFC, he was then subsequently handed a warning from the NSAC. In his very next fight, just months later, Barnett won the UFC heavyweight championship by TKOing Randy Couture. Unfortunately, after the fight, it was revealed that Barnett had failed a drug test in that fight as well, subsequently, he was stripped of the UFC heavyweight championship. After 11 years fighting in various other high-profile promotions including Pride FC, Affliction, and Strikeforce, Barnett made his UFC return in 2013. This failure marks the first time he has failed a drug test in his most recent stint with the UFC.
The UFC was quick to release a statement on the matter through UFC.com:
“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.”
Barnett of course is coming off a September win over Andrei Arlovski in the main event of ‘UFC Fight Night: Hamburg’. The third round submission win returned Barnett to the win column after dropping a submission loss to Ben Rothwell in early 2016.