Nick Diaz Marijuana Suspension

The Nevada State Athletic Commission finally ruled on Nick Diaz’s positive marijuana test, after months up months of legal wrangling and precedents being filed. Diaz is a mixed martial arts fighter, and is the former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion, World Extreme Cagefighting Welterweight Champion and International Fighting Championship Welterweight Champion. The Nevada State Athletic Commission surely dropped the hammer on the Stockton, California-bred fighter.

After a three-hour-plus hearing that involved Diaz speaking to the commission at length’s end about everything, which included his past history of marijuana use, his medical marijuana card that’s valid in California, his previous positive test conducted in 2007, and his questionnaire that he filled out prior to his bout at UFC 143. The Commission had handed down similar punishments to that of other athletes who have tested positive multiple times in the state.

Nick Diaz was suspended for twelve months retroactive to the date of his last bout with Carlos Condit at UFC 143. He was also fined thirty-percent of his fight purse that he received from that event. Diaz was paid $200,000 for his bout at UFC 143, so his fine will be totaled out to $60,000. The suspension will be active until February 4, 2013, in which he then can return to mixed martial arts.

However, Diaz’s suspension is longer than the normal for fighters who have been tested positive for marijuana in the past because he had been previously suspended in the state for the same situation. Back in 2007, following a fight with Takanori Gomi in the Pride Fighting Championships, Diaz had tested positive for marijuana and was suspended six months. Diaz’s win against Gomi was then overturned to a no contest.

Due to Diaz’s second infraction, he was leveled this time with a heavy one-year suspension and a thirty-percent fine that will cost him a hefty $60,000. The Nevada State Athletic Commission did not reverse their decision in the fight between Diaz and Condit because Diaz lost.

During the hearing, Diaz had admitted that marijuana does help him perform better during his training because of his increased ability to focus and deal with his ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Due to Diaz’s diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, he was recommended a medical marijuana card. The commission also came after Diaz several times for his pre-fight medical questionnaire in which he answered “no” to when questioned about being treated for any “serious medical conditions”. He also failed to disclose any of his past marijuana usage in the sections specifically marked for prescribed or over-the-counter medications.

Ross Goodman, Diaz’s lawyer, stood up for his client numerous times, including the interpretation of the testing under the commission rules regarding marijuana metabolites as opposed to actually testing positive for marijuana. Although for all the amount of arguing that took place during the hearing, the commission ultimately handed down the same punishment to Diaz as previous fighters and competitors have received in the past for testing positive for marijuana, especially for the second time in the same state.

Nick Diaz had announced his retirement from active competition as well as not seeking another fight following his loss to Condit in February at UFC 143. So far there has been no word whether or not he has changed his mind, but we’ll see when he is allowed to return in February 2013.