MMA and the UFC in particular were vastly different till a few years ago. Many athletes such as ‘TRT’ Vitor Belfort, Alistair ‘Horse-meat’ Overeem, Gleison Tibau, Hector Lombard, Rousimar Palahares were ruling or at least dominating their divisions back in the day. However, things soon changed and these athletes who were highly jacked and ripped previously, started looking a lot less muscular and shredded. It was majorly because the UFC allowed USADA to start testing whether the athletes were using any kind of PED’s or other banned substances. Veteran MMA heavyweight Josh Barnett was flagged for a potential doping violation by the USADA. However, after a rather long investigation and hearing, he has now been cleared to fight.
Barnett is known for his top-notch grappling skills and holds a honorary black belt in BJJ, he also has a 2nd degree black black in BJJ. “The baby faced assassin” also holds a MMA record of 35-8.
Barnett was recently cleared of all the charges by the USADA. He also received a “public reprimand” instead of a suspension. Here’s the official statement from USADA:
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.
Here’s what independent arbitrator Richard H. McLaren, the chief arbitrator from McLaren Global Sport Solutions, Inc had to say:
On the evidence before me, the Applicant is not a drug cheat, he unknowingly ingested a Contaminated Product. In doing so, he did commit an ADPV because he had a Prohibited Substance in his Sample but he did not actively engage in attempting, in any way, to engage in the use of a Prohibited Substance.
Below is Barnett’s statement after the verdict:
I proved my innocence as I stated from the beginning and now I can look towards getting back in the ring in the neat future. The time I lost though can never be regained. It should not havr had to come to all of this. Ever onwards…