Josh Barnett to undergo WADA testing, putting the entire sport on notice

Let’s get this straight – he’s not doing it voluntarily. Not exactly.

It’s one thing to have a clean record and walk into a WADA (Olympic-style) testing program. It’s quite another to have failed three drug tests. Under those conditions, volunteering becomes more a per-requisite to fight. Whcih is exactly what it is. In order to fight in Nevada, Barnett had to do what the Nevada State Athletic Commission says.

This doesn’t change the fact that he becomes the first MMA fighter to do it. It’s not the seminal moment one would have hoped for, but hopefully it signals a trend that bodies like NSAC will continue to crack down on drug offenders.

The procedure is expected to be weekly random testing until UFC 168 on December 28. Following the fight, Barnett is to undergo random testing until for 368 more days until December 31, 2014. The tests occur regardless of whether he fights in Nevada.

All told, it’s more of a story to snort at than a noble one to applaud. At least the UFC did the right thing by footing the bill.

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