Barnett’s re-licensure hearing postponed
Josh Barnett was granted a continuance on Thursday before the California State Athletic Commission to hear his case for re-licensure at a future hearing, delaying his impending debut with Strikeforce in early 2011.
The former UFC champion can request an audience with the CSAC at its Feb. 4 meeting in Los Angeles, said Executive Officer George Dodd.
Barnett had been denied re-licensure in July 2009 for one year after he allegedly produced a positive pre-test for an anabolic steroid prior to a headlining bout against Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction III. That event was cancelled a week later, while Barnett’s appeal of the disciplinary action was postponed three times and the one-year waiting period eventually expired.
The 33-year-old heavyweight requested Thursday’s postponement after it was established that his appearance before the regulatory body would be more probing in nature than he said he’d been told beforehand.
“I’m a little caught off guard by this,” Barnett told the commission on Thursday. “I was asked to come here and I was asked to provide a sample to re-apply [for licensure]. I do feel slightly unprepared and did not bring any counsel. I didn’t come here to appeal.”
When made aware that he’d be asked to provide detailed information surrounding his past infractions, as well as evidence of his rehabilitation, Barnett requested and was granted a continuance so he could re-appear next time with his counsel present.
“The idea here is to get to the bottom of this and to find out the truth and to be perfectly honest, the burden of proof is on you to show that you are fit for licensure,” said CSAC legal counselor Anita Scuri.
Barnett had previously served a six-month suspension in Nevada in 2002 after a post-fight urinalysis detected three anabolic agents (Boldenone metabolite, Fluoxymesterone metabolite and Nandrolone metabolite) in his system following his victory over Randy Couture for the heavyweight title at UFC 36.
Barnett had denied using anabolic steroids on both occasions, and reiterated that statement to the commission on Thursday before the postponement was granted.
-- Loretta Hunt, reporting from Sacramento