Zach Arnold translates the news and the reaction of the Sengoku brass to Barnett's test results in California:
This is fair enough. As much as I am utterly appalled by Barnett's refusal to fess up to using performance enhancing drugs -- and I'm sorry dude, but the third strike really is an out -- I'm glad there is still a Japanese market where Josh can fight.Today was the heat-up press conference for the 8/2 Saitama Super Arena show and the main topic in the media ended up being? Josh Barnett and his failed drug test in California. Barnett is expected to fight for Sengoku on 11/7 in Tokyo at Ryogoku Kokugikan, the same show that Satoshi Ishii is expected to make his MMA debut on.
At the press conference, Takahiro Kokuho (the main boss of Sengoku) said that he was skeptical about what happened with Barnett?s test result in California given the problems J-ROCK had in California with Kazuhiro Nakamura testing positive for marijuana and what he deemed a lack of transprency with the way drug testing is handled in California. Kokuho said that he wants Sengoku to be the ?standard bearer? for anti-doping practices in Japanese MMA with the help of the JADA (Japan Anti-Doping Agency) and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency).
I'm also very happy that World Victory Road imposes drug tests. I really like the way they are building that organization, its a strong and welcome contrast to DREAM and PRIDE before them.I don't expect American fans to be pleased with their decision to bring back Barnett, but it's WVR's ability to re-establish the credibility and popularity of MMA in Japan that matters to me.
If Barnett can pass their tests, then I'll be happy to watch him fight again. But if he wants to regain my respect, he'll have to man up and admit that he's done wrong.
I'm also hoping that Arnold is correct that the Japanese media is giving this story serious coverage.
I share World Victory Road's skepticism about the CSAC. While Bill Douglas' new regime has presumably improved upon the old disgraced Armando Garcia regime -- and I very much applaud their shrewdness in surprising a repeat offender like Barnett -- they still have a lot of work to do to restore their damaged credibility. Don't forget that the old CSAC testing regime was so bad that Douglas let his first shows as commissioner go without testing rather than rely on the patently awful system.
Cage Potato has an absolutely great history of steroids in MMA and one of the key findings was that the CSAC far and away leads in steroid busts (and this doesn't even touch on their busts for other controlled substances:
There's a reason that the UFC hasn't returned to California in a long time. Hopefully the Douglas regime can re-establish their credibility. In my opinion, the Barnett bust went a long way towards that.Steroid busts by commission:
UFC's independent testing: 2
Meltzer has more on Barnett and the CSAC:
The one possibility I will grant Barnett is that its entirely possible that he took an over the counter supplement that contained steroids. The evidence is so compelling that the supplement market is deeply tainted with illegal substances that the FDA has issued a warning. But Barnett is a professional and should know better.On June 25, Barnett became the first MMA fighter tested out of competition in California after an amendment to an existing bylaw was enacted. Barnett had failed two steroid tests in Nevada while fighting for the UFC, one in 2001 and another in 2002.
The steroid for which Barnett tested positive usually clears the system in 10 days, so under the old procedures, had Barnett been tested on Aug. 1, it was highly unlikely the metabolite would have shown up. Barnett has denied ingesting anything illegal, but also said that he believes he does know why he tested positive and has not complained about the commission procedures.
California policy has been to issue a one-year license suspension for steroid test positives. License suspensions are recognized by all U.S. commission states. Because Barnett wasn?t licensed, he is not on the suspended list. However, he will not be allowed to apply for a license in California for one year. Other states are at their own discretion as to whether to license him during the year.