On the heels of yesterday’s shocking announcement, Josh Barnett has commented publicly for the first time since the California State Athletic Commission confirmed the heavyweight had tested positive for an anabolic steroid during a pre-fight screening.
Traces of metabolite (2a-methyl-5a-androstan- 3a-ol-17-one), of the anabolic steroid Drostanolone, were found in heavyweight Josh Barnett’s system after he was asked to submit a urinalysis on June 25th in order to get licensed for his “Affliction: Trilogy” bout against Fedor Emelianenko.
Before the news had been confirmed, Barnett professed his innocence and claimed that he and his management would fight the results to the nth degree.
“No matter what happens with this, I can assure you I will clear my name. This will not be something that I am defined by,” Barnett emphatically told Sherdog.com.
Here is Barnett’s official MySpace post regarding the matter:
Many of you are wondering what’s happening. What I can say is that 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.
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.
My representatives and I are working to gather as much info as possible and handle this situation as best we can. I am embarrassed and want for 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.
What’s painfully obvious is the fact that nowhere in his statement does he specifically deny ever taking any substances that were illegal or banned. He is merely showing his remorse, probably more for being caught than anything else, and his legal team is hunting for the tiniest of loopholes in order to salvage the card.
With just 9 days to go until the show jumps off inside the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, company VP Tom Atencio wasn’t keen on the prospects of Barnett being cleared at the 11th hour. In fact, he is moving on as if Barnett isn’t an option.
“I am not expecting Josh to be fighting on the card,” Atencio stated on yesterday’s conference call. “We are very confident in getting a worthy opponent. I am in the negotiation process with a few fighters and we’ll put on the best fight possible, as we always do, to make sure that the match-up is one of quality and lives up to the standards of Affliction.”
As of now, it still appears that former UFC light heavyweight champ Vitor Belfort is the leading candidate to land the co-leading role for Affliction’s third MMA promotion.
Belfort was scheduled to take on Jorge Santiago on the card.