Zach Arnold talks about how Barnett could fight in Japan in November, and how the media there could be a problem for him in regards to his third positive drug test:
At the press conference, Takahiro Kokuho (the main boss of Sengoku) said that he was skeptical about what happened with Barnett’s test result in California given the problems J-ROCK had in Californiawith Kazuhiro Nakamura testing positive for marijuanaand what he deemed a lack of transprency with the way drug testing is handled in California. Kokuho said that he wants Sengoku to be the ’standard bearer’ for anti-doping practices in Japanese MMA with the help of the JADA (Japan Anti-Doping Agency) and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency).
Now, I wouldn't argue the point that Kakuho is trying to make here because there does seem to be an abnormal amount of positive drug tests in California when compared to Nevada or any other major commissions. It's great that the Japanese are going to start drug testing their fighters. My question is, why haven't they being doing this all along?
Arnold further elaborates on Barnett's image in the media there:
As for how the media is portraying Barnett, the answer is they are continuing to play it straight. This time, they mentioned his failed drug test(s) in Nevada and then the failed test in California. This is going to become a bigger issue for Barnett and he needs legitimate help in terms of finding a manager or agent who is based in Japan who knows how to handle PR. Using the same old PR methods to handle the issue of failed drug tests will likely prove to be a mistake here. History has shown that Josh rarely changes tactics on this front…
If it's such a big deal in Japanese MMA for fighters to stay clean, then this brings me to my initial question. Why were fighters in PRIDE and other promotions in Japan not subject to drug testing to begin with? The other question is, why would Sengoku invite Barnett back to fight after testing positive for a third time if the Japanese look at steroids in such a negative light? Especially after he has already tested positive twice then going over to Japan to have successful stints in MMA and professional wrestling. I know Kakuho thinks that the CSAC may be at fault here, but that doesn't negate the other two tests in which Barnett tested positive. There seems to be some inconsistencies in regards to how the Japanese look at steroids and 'cheating'. So is it that they don't want fighters to use illegal drugs, but decided not to test for them? Or is it they don't support fighters that use steroids, yet allow them to fight at their events when they test positive for them here in America? Josh Barnett and former EliteXC HW champion Antonio Silva are prime examples, ironically there are rumors they could fight one another at this Sengoku event. Build with me.