After rumors and reports began circling in late July that Josh Barnett had failed a drug test in preparation for his August 1 bout at Affliction/M-1 Global’s Trilogy event against Fedor Emelianenko, Affliction MMA head, Tom Atencio, confirmed that Barnett had indeed been denied a license to fight by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC). While Atencio had said that the Trilogy event was still on as scheduled, the event was subsequently scrapped, and Affliction quickly bowed out of the fight promotion business.
Now the man at the center of the debacle that was Affliction's not-to-be Trilogy event will finally get his day in court. Josh Barnett is scheduled to have his appeal heard on the denial of his license by the California State Athletic Commission on Monday, October 26, 2009, in Los Angeles.
Barnett's June 25 drug test came back positive for 2a-methyl-5a-androstan-3a-ol-17-one, an anabolic steroid. The CSAC learned of the results July 21 and immediately denied a license for Barnett. After hearing of the denial Barnett quickly proclaimed his innocence and filed an appeal. Now, three months later the commission will hear that appeal. It is expected that Barnett's case will rely heavily on the results from his "B" sample that was collected at the same time as the sample that was found to be positive.
The CSAC is among the toughest drug testing standards of any Athletic Commission in the country. It is the only commission that requires drug tests to be observed in the presence of a commission representative prior to a bout.
Whether or not Barnett's denied license is overturned, the damage has more than been done. His opportunity to face Fedor Emelianenko is likely gone, along with the big pay day that would have accompanied his bout with Emelianenko. Sponsors and other potential high-profile fights have also likely turned their back on 'The Baby-Faced Assassin'. Not to mention all the carnage left behind from Affliction's demise.