Josh Barnett on Thursday became the first UFC fighter to agree to a strict condition of World Anti-Doping Agency certified random drug testing in order to gain a license to fight in Nevada.
Barnett is slated to fight Travis Browne at UFC 168 on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas. In order to get a license in the state, he had to go before the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Thursday to address past discretions. He previously failed post-fight drug tests in Nevada in 2001 and 2002, following wins over Bobby Hoffman and Randy Couture. He most recently failed a pre-fight drug test in California for a planned 2009 bout with Fedor Emelianenko.
Barnett was grilled by Nevada commissioners about his past, but his answered appeared to have assuaged many of their concerns. He was granted a conditional license that included the most extensive drug testing stipulation ever for a UFC fighter in the state.
The commission unanimously approved a measure that requires Barnett to undergo WADA certified random drug testing through Dec. 31, 2014. The drug testing is to be paid for by either Barnett or the UFC. Marc Ratner, the UFC’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, assured the commission that the UFC was willing to pay for the testing.
Barnett is required to continue the random drug testing program regardless of whether he fights in Nevada in 2014 or not.
WADA is the foremost independent doping control agency in the world, working towards a vision of a world where all athletes compete in a doping-free sporting environment.