MMA Fighter Must Believe “Steroids Are Bad” In Order to Fight in California

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Josh “The Babyface Assassin” Barnett, a former UFC and Pride heavyweight champion, was granted a conditional license to fight again by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC). Barnett had tested positive for metabolites of the anabolic steroid commonly known as Masteron in June 2009. Two urine samples tested by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory at UCLA confirmed the presence of drostanolone metabolites.

Barnett’s positive steroid test result occurred in the weeks prior to a scheduled fight against Fedor Emelianenko in the “Affliction: Trilogy” main-event fight on August 1, 2009. He was forced out of the event after his license was suspended.

Barnett vehemently denied intentionally ingesting anabolic steroids or any other prohibited substance. This was the second time Barnett used the I-never-intentionally-used-steroids defense.

Barnett had tested positive for steroids several years earlier.  Metabolites of steroids were found in a urinalysis conducted after his TKO of Randy Couture at UFC 36 in Las Vegas on March 22, 2002. He was stripped of his UFC Heavyweight title as a result.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended him for six month. Barnett left the United States shortly thereafter and fought in Japan for approximately five years before returning home.

Barnett attributed the 2002 steroid positive on his use of an unidentified prohormone that was sold legally as a dietary supplement.

“At the time drug testing was relatively new and the state of the supplement industry was a bit like the wild West,” explained Barnett. “The supplements I took in 2002 were reclassified as anabolics in 2004, but at the time they were legal.”

The prohormone supplements that Barnett had been using were legally reclassified (redefined) as anabolic steroids with the passage of the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004.

Some people were suprised that the CSAC was willing to grant Barnett a conditional license to fight in the State. Barnett has never admitted to using anabolic steroids and has come across on several occasions as being unrepentant.

CSAC executive director George Dodd and CSAC commissioner Steve Alexander have gone on record stating the evidence of “rehabilitation” is mandatory when re-admitted an MMA athletes who has been suspended due to steroids.

This means, at least according to Barnett, that a suspended athlete must publicly talk about the evils of steroids.

“It’s ‘What have you done?'” said Barnett. “Are you out there taking tests to prove yourself? He tested negative for us. Have you been out there discussing the use of steroids and how bad it is. Are you out there being an advocate, or an opponent of steroids?”

Apparently, Barnett convince the commission that he truly believes steroids are bad.



Gross, J. (March 5, 2012). Josh Barnett licensed in California. Retrieved from

Marrocco, S. (December 3, 2010). Josh Barnett’s re-licensing hearing likely for Feb. 4 in Los Angeles. Retrieved from