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Josh Barnett to Appeal Failed Drug Test

Josh Barnett is appealing the positive drug test that has denied him a license to fight Fedor Emelianenko in the main event of Affliction "Trilogy" on Aug. 1 in Anaheim, Calif.

"It's our understanding that Josh has taken further measures to validate the results of the test, and if the results stand, then we're deeply disappointed," Affliction VP Tom Atencio said Wednesday.

Two samples were taken from a pre-fight test three weeks ago and the one tested resulted Tuesday in a positive. The California commission is currently in the process of testing the second sample.

"If he's cleared, then great, obviously, if not, then once again I'm getting the best opponent, making sure the fans are happy and doing everything I can to [get past this bump in the road]."

Atencio said Barnett tested positive for a banned substance but has "no clue" exactly what the drug was.

Barnett's name had been previously attached to performance-enhancing drugs stemming from his steroid suspension in 2002 after his UFC heavyweight title win over Randy Couture at UFC 36.

"No matter what happens with this, I can assure you I will clear my name," Barnett told Sherdog.com Tuesday evening. "This will not be something that I am defined by."

If the second test also comes back positive, and if Barnett plans to fight the penalty, he would have to file a formal appeal with the commission for a hearing.

With 10 days until the event, there's little time to wait for Barnett and Atencio says he has no choice but to find the next worthy opponent.

"We're definitely moving ahead," Atencio said. "I have to move ahead."

Atencio says he's in negotiations with three potential opponents but declined to comment on anything until the contracts are finalized. Atencio, however, did not entirely erase the possibility of Barnett returning.

"It's my understanding that there's a great possibility that they'll reinstate his license and let him move forward, if he's cleared," Atencio said. "But that is absolutely in the hands of the California State Athletic Commission."