With the stain of two prior incidents still lingering in the air, it appears like Josh Barnett (30-5) won't be receiving his third strike anytime soon. The Strikeforce heavyweight contender has been cleared to fight at the promotion's upcoming heavyweight tournament semi-finals after passing a pre-event drug test, according to reports from MMAJunkie.com.
Ohio Athletic Commission (OAC) Executive Director Bernie Profato announced the news late Monday afternoon.
"We had him tested, and we're satisfied that he's clean, as far as coming into the fight," Profato said. "In fairness to this young man, he cooperated 110 percent."
"He hasn't done anything for us not to issue him a license," he continued. "He's met all the requirements we've asked of him."
Barnett received supplemental testing from the OAC due to a necessitation clause implicating any competitor that previously failed a screen.
The 33-year-old infamously lost his UFC heavyweight championship after testing positive for anabolic steroids in the aftermath of UFC 36. Disaster then struck again seven years later, as the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) announced that Barnett tested positive for anabolic steroids in the lead-up to a planned bout against Fedor Emelianenko for Affliction Entertainment.
Barnett is scheduled to headline ‘Strikeforce: Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinals' against feared Russian kickboxer Sergei Kharitonov (18-4). The event will be held September 10th at the U.S. Bank Arena, in Cincinnati, Ohio.