Josh Barnett has been blamed by many as the reason the cancellation of Affliction: Trilogy and subsequent folding of the promotion. The fighter failed an anabolic steroid drug screening prior to his highly anticipated fight against Russian heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, causing the cancellation of the entire event, which was scheduled for this Saturday. The incident also led Affliction Entertainment to cancel their MMA division, and reverting back to being a corporate sponsor of the UFC through their clothing division.
Barnett issued an official press release, denying the drug allegations and accusing Affliction of acting “hastily” in canceling the event.
“Mr. Barnett vehemently denies intentionally ingesting any banned substances in preparation for the August 1st fight and he is looking forward to presenting his case to the California State Athletic Commission,” the press release noted.
The former UFC star is awaiting the results of the “B” sample that was taken and says he questions “the integrity of the sample and the validity of the results themselves.”
He went on to thank his fans for their support and promised to fight the allegations against him. He also apologized to fellow Affliction: Trilogy fighters who were affected by the cancellation of the event.
But all of this controversy isn’t keeping “The Babyface Assassin” down. Barnett will wrestle on August 9th for the Inoki Genome Federation in Japan. If the California State Athletic Commission confirms their positive result, Barnett will be unable to fight in the United States for the near future, forcing him to continue his career in Japan.