Nick Diaz’s protracted battle with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) following his positive drug test came to an end this afternoon without his desired result being achieved.
The fighter initially tested positive for marijuana metabolites following his last fight – a loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143 this past February.
Over the last couple of months, Diaz’s legal defense team led by Ross Goodman came up with a strategy to rebuke the ruling that Diaz, a known card-carrying medical marijuana user in his home state of California where it is legal, should have been suspended in the first place.
The main argument was that marijuana, a Schedule I narcotic, was allowed to be used outside of training camp just as alcohol is. In short, the claim was that he never used it “in competition” and halted use eight days prior to his fight.
Regardless of that assumption, the commission did not offer any leeway in this matter. It went by the rulebook which states marijuana as a banned substance irregardless of the circumstance, legal or not. They stated that you cannot test negative or have any metabolites in your system (active or inactive) because they are a 100 percent indication of marijuana usage.
No amount of argument in today’s lengthy hearing could sway them.
As a result, the NSAC suspended the Stockton, California based bad boy for a period of 12 months and fined him $60,000 (30% of his fight purse from the Condit fight) for his troubles.
That means he’s out until at least February 2013.
Diaz trainer Cesar Gracie took to Twitter to express his frustrations at the UFC:
@ufc Get drunk and wreck cars or do steroids between fights is OK. Smoke weed legally between fights and NSAC throws the book at you
Clearly a shot over the bow at other negative PR as of late for the organization, like Alistair Overeem’s own positive drug test along with this past weekend’s news that UFC light heavyweight champ and company sponsored fighter Jon Jones had been arrested on suspicion of DUI after crashing his $190,000 Bentley.
This ruling brings to an end a turbulent couple of months for the well-respected fighter (inside the cage) in Nick Diaz. Aside from the whole drug test / NSAC issue, he’s had to deal with the fallout of his no-show for his grappling superfight that was scheduled with Braulio Estima in recent weeks as well.
At least now he can step back and analyze his future now that there is certainty about his situation.
What do the fans think? Was this ruling cut & dry – a fair decision by the NSAC? Or is Diaz being given the short end of the stick based on his reputation? What else do you think about this situation?