josh_barnett_steroidsMixed martial arts heavyweight fighter Josh Barnett is set to fight in US soil July 19 in Affliction:Banned. In said event he will face Pedro Rizzo, who defeated him seven years ago at UFC 85. In 2002, Barnett, nicknamed The Baby Faced Assassin left US for Japan due to steroid allegations.

Barnett became the youngest UFC Heavyweight Champion in the organization’s history at the age of 24 after wrangling the title from Randy Couture by TKO. However, during a mandatory post-fight test conducted by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) he was allegedly tested positive for the anabolic steroid Equipoise (boldenone).

Subsequently, the newly-crowned heavyweight champ was stripped of the UFC title and had his license revoked for six months. However, there were reported violations of screening protocol and it was impossible to verify the results based on the original samples.

Barnett called for another drug test, and came out clean. After waiting several months of without any final decision being made on his case he decided to relocate to Japan.

Barnett’s upcoming bout is eagerly awaited by American MMA fans since his rematch with Rizzo will be just his second appearance in the U.S. since his victory over Randy Couture in 2002.

Barnett is jus one of the many MMA fighters who got embroiled in steroid scandal. Tim Sylvia had also tested positive for the steroid Winstrol (stanozolol) in 2003. Sylvia was stripped of his heavyweight title and was also fined $10,000 by the NSAC. He later admitted that he used the steroid to lose weight.

And then in 2007, Sean Sherk’s UFC lightweight championship belt was revoked/// when he tested positive for steroids in post-fight drug tests. Hermes Franca, whom Sherk successfully defended his title, also tested for banned compounds.

After testing positive for nandrolone, Sherk was suspended and was fined $2500.