When last we saw former heavyweight champ Josh Barnett, he was choking out Andrei Arlovski at UFC Fight Night 93 in 2016.
But soon after, USADA put him on ice for failing a drug test.
Barnett swore up and down that what they’d found (ostarine) came from a tainted supplement, and he had meticulous records to back up his claims. So he took USADA to arbitration, which is the legal equivalent of a cagefight, and yesterday the arbitrator determined that he deserved a public reprimand.
That’s it. Nothing more. No suspension, nothing.
In other words, Barnett fought USADA and won.
Here’s USADA’s statement:
USADA announced today that an independent arbitrator has rendered a decision in the case of UFC® athlete Josh Barnett, of Fullerton, Calif., and determined that Barnett should receive a public reprimand for his anti-doping policy violation. This decision comes after the facts of the case were fully briefed and presented at an evidentiary hearing on March 6, 2018.
Barnett, 40, tested positive for ostarine following an out-of-competition test conducted on December 9, 2016. Ostarine is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
Given the source was established to be a contaminated supplement, along with the athlete’s care and diligence concerning the nutritional products consumed, the arbitrator determined that a public reprimand was appropriate.
This is huge. Do you know the expression, “If you make God bleed, then he’s no longer God”? Barnett just made God bleed, and showed fighters stuck under the thrall of USADA’s sometimes unwavering dark magic that, if you failed a drug test through no fault of your own, you don’t have eat a giant turd sandwich.
Granted, Barnett is guilty of failing drug tests in the past, and was even stripped of his UFC belt because of it. But in this instance, he played by the rules.
Too bad he’s been unable to compete while dealing with this whole mess.