Heavyweight Josh Barnett was scheduled to appear Monday at a hearing for his denial of licensing appeal to the California State Athletic Commission. However, the fighter was not present at the hearing because he was returning from Japan after participating in a pro wrestling match against Bob Sapp on Sunday.
The hearing has now been postponed until April 22.
Barnett’s manager, Shannon Hooper, claims that the CSAC did not make it clear to them that they required the fighter to be present at the hearing. However, the CSAC executive director George Dudd says that in the initial letter sent to Barnett following his failed drug test it is clearly stated that his presence was required. Since Barnett’s defense seems to be based on the testing procedures, his legal counsel, Michael J. DiMaggio said, “Presenting issues and raising issues relating to the test results, the chain of custody, the protocol, those type of issues are issues that can be addressed without Mr. Barnett being present,” following the postponement, Sherdog reports.
This marks the fourth delay in the appellate process for Barnett. He and DiMaggio twice postponed the hearing on August 24 and October 26 of last year citing that they had yet to receive case information they had requested from the CSAC. The appeal was delayed the third time in on December 8, 2009 after inclement weather on the East Coast prevent DiMaggio from traveling from New York.
Barnett tested positive for steroids when he applied to the CSAC for a license to fight, ahead of a scheduled bout with Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction: Trilogy. The positive test resulted in a denial of licensure by the CSAC and a one year suspension for the fighter. Affliction’s struggles to find a suitable replacement to face Emelianenko eventually precipitated the cancellation of the event after which point the company ceased its operations as an MMA promotion.