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Josh Barnett fails out-of-competition drug test, flagged by USADA

Josh Barnett
Josh Barnett failed an out-of-competition USADA drug test, stemming from a sample taken early in December.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Josh Barnett’s issues with banned substances continue.

The former UFC heavyweight champion failed an out-of-competition drug test stemming from a Dec. 9 screening, the UFC announced Tuesday. Barnett has been flagged by USADA and is facing a UFC anti-doping violation.

Barnett, 39, has had a history of failed drug tests, going all the way back to 2001 after he beat Bobby Hoffmann at UFC 34 when he was given a warning for a positive screen. In his next bout, Barnett won the UFC heavyweight title, beating Randy Couture by second-round TKO in 2002. He tested positive for banned substances after that fight, as well, and was stripped of the belt.

Perhaps the most famous of Barnett’s drug-test failures was in 2009. Barnett was supposed to fight Fedor Emelianenko in a battle of perhaps the two best heavyweight fighters in the world at the time at Affliction: Trilogy. But 10 days before the bout, Barnett tested positive for anabolic steroids and the event was cancelled. Affliction didn’t survive the blow, folding itself.

Barnett (35-8) has been one of the best heavyweights in the world throughout his nearly 20-year-long career. “The Warmaster” is coming off a third-round submission of Andrei Arlovski in September. After a solid run in Strikeforce, Barnett is 3-2 since returning to the UFC in 2013.

Barnett had been tested 13 times by USADA this year. The substance he tested positive for was not disclosed by the UFC, which is protocol. USADA will run the adjudication process and determine Barnett’s sanction.

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