Josh Barnett has been exonerated by an independent arbitrator, and will receive no punishment after failing an out of competition in December of 2016.
Barnett will instead be given a ‘public reprimand’ for his positive test for ostarine, which was judged to have gotten into the heavyweight’s system via a tainted supplement. Barnett is the first member of the UFC roster to receive such a verdict after going to arbitration with USADA.
It now means the former heavyweight champion can return to action right away, but at 40-years of age, the unnecessary enforced year has cost him both money and a chance to progress in the heavyweight division. He was last seen in an exciting bout with Andrei Arlovski, which he won via submission in the third round.
The case was heard by Richard H. McLaren, chief arbitrator from McLaren Global Sport Solutions, Inc.
In his verdict, he wrote that:
“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 the Prohibited Substance.”
Update: Josh Barnett has made his first statement on the matter.
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… https://t.co/HfeUrteKjA
— Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) March 24, 2018