Barnett Suspended 6 Months
Barnett Suspended 6 Months
By Joe Hall
The Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett for six months today as a result of testing positive for anabolic steroids following his March 22 bout against Randy Couture.
Barnett was present at the hearing in Las Vegas, as was his trainer Matt Hume, who butted heads several times with the commission. Hume first defended his fighter by questioning the procedure by which Barnett was tested.
Tony Lato, Chief Inspector for the Nevada commission, testified regarding how the commission collects urine samples. He described the procedure, but Hume argued afterward that Lato’s description was not followed when Barnett was tested on March 22.
"I’m not an expert on it, but I know what was done in the room because I was there and I witnessed it," Hume said. "And when I’m told that this was done according to procedure — part of the procedure is sealing the sample in front of the fighter — I have to disagree with that."
Further witnesses testified that the procedure was valid and the testing accurate. However, Hume continued to claim that protocol was breached.
Dr. Flip Homansky, of the Nevada commission, sternly replied to Hume’s allegations: "This is not a possibility of the process being flawed. Two steroids were found in this gentleman’s urine in November. The same two steroids were found four months later, plus a third drug that is added… to make them more effective. So, if the process was wrong in March by different people doing it, you’re saying that we had to make a mistake back in November also. It is my firm conclusion that this gentleman has been taking steroids to gain an unfair advantage."
Hume also took issue with what he considered to be a lack of notification. "We were not given any list of banned substances for Josh Barnett, for March," he said. Hume then stated that even if the metabolites mentioned as being in Barnett’s system were indeed there, whether present because of pro-hormone use or anabolic steroid use, his fighter was not given notice to get rid of them.
Dr. Homansky argued otherwise: "I actually spoke to the entire group of fighters … before the November fight, specifically talking about drug testing and steroids, saying they were illegal. Plus Josh was given a book provided by the commission. This book… talks about steroids, and it talks about the illegal substances."
Hume was unsatisfied with the commission’s responses regarding procedure and notification, and continued to debate the matter. The commission urged the hearing to move forward, and Barnett was questioned if he had ever used anabolic steroids in his career for performance enhancement or bodybuilding.
He replied, "No, I have not. Never."
Both Hume and Barnett referenced prohormone [over-the-counter andro-type products] use as a possible source for the metabolites that showed up in the post-fight urinalysis.
Barnett closed by offering support to the commission and admitting that it has been a difficult situation. "I’m here not to fight," he said. "I’m here to cooperate and actually try and help the commission out as they might be able to help me. I’ve made my living by being a fighter, and through all of this, I haven’t been able to make a living. It’s been really detrimental to me.
"I’m a clean fighter. I will remain a clean fighter, and all I want to do is help promote our sport because the higher that it becomes, the higher I become."
After closing comments from both sides, the commission decided disciplinary action was necessary. A short discussion among commission members concerning the length of the suspension of Barnett’s license to fight followed, and a six-month suspension from the date of the hearing finally passed.
More to come in the next issue of FCF.
From RITC Writer/Statistician John Petrilli:
RITC 37 – This Saturday Night!!!
Remco vs. Homer
The excitement level is skyrocketing leading up to Rage in the Cage 37 in what will be the most noteworthy mma event ever to take place in Arizona.
UFC veterans Remco Pardoel and Homer Moore will battle in the biggest Main Event in Rage in the Cage history.
Remco Pardoel hails from Oss, Holland. He’s a Judo/Jiu-Jitsu expert with strong striking skills. Remco is a veteran of 5 UFC matches where he posted a 3 – 2 record (his losses were to Royce Gracie and Marco Ruas). Remco competes in events world-wide, including the WVC World Vale Tudo Championships, Shooto, Rings, Pancrase, Cage Wars and the World JJ Championships just to name a few.
Homer "The Rock" Moore is from Phoenix, Arizona. He’s an outstanding Wrestler / Shootfighter. Homer was an alternate on the 1996 US Olympic Wrestling Team. He appeared in UFC 34 last November where he came up short against Evan Tanner. Homer is undefeated in RITC and in his most recent fight he stopped 285 lb Vince Lucero in the 3rd round of a toe-to-toe "war".
There will be 12 official fights (the Arizona Commission Limit). There may also be two exhibition bouts. One featuring 14 year old sensation Jacob McClintock and the other a full contact Karate match.
Fight Card subject to change.
Fighters, please take note. The official weigh-ins, by Commission representatives, will take place the day of the event, Saturday July 27th at 3 PM at Celebrity Theatre.
The planned fight card for RITC 37 is the biggest and best ever offered in RITC history and a sellout is a virtual certainty. Don’t be disappointed. Have the Celebrity Theatre Box Office (602-267-1600) hold your tickets at will-call. All it takes is a single phone call, or stop by the Box Office in person if paying by cash for advanced ticket pick-ups.
The only $5 discounts for RITC 37 will be with existing RITC red cards or KUPD red cards.
The RITC 37 post-fight party will be held at SixShooters Sports Bar & Grill (480-557-6820) located at 705 S Rural Rd in Tempe. There will be 3 bands and DJ music for your entertainment.
Please visit www.rageinthecage.com or call 480-446-8127 for more information.
Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, Arizona
General Admission Tickets only $20 !!!