Yesterday, UFC fighter Nick Diaz was handed a year’s suspension from fighting and a $60,000 fine by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after testing positive for marijuana metabolites at UFC 143, a ruling that has angered his manager Cesar Gracie.
“Get drunk and wreck cars or do steroids between fights is OK. Smoke weed legally between fights and NSAC throws the book at you,” Gracie wrote on Twitter.
Gracie was of course referring to UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones who was arrested under the suspicion of DUI at the weekend after crashing his, and middleweight No.1 contender Chael Sonnen who was granted a ‘Theraputic Use Excemption’ to use Testosterone Replacement Therapy by NSAC yesterday.
Diaz’s lawyer Ross Goodman has indicated there is still the potential that they’ll continue to pursue the legality of this suspension further, believing that the NSAC have unfairly overlooked the fact there is a clear distinction between testing positive for marijuana and marijunana metabolites.
“[The NSAC Chairman] agreed with what our whole position is: that evidence of prior use of a prohibited substance is not presence of a prohibited substance,” Goodman told MMAjunkie after the hearing. “Everyone acknowledges that marijuana metabolites means that at some point before that you used marijuana, but evidence of prior use is not a violation. You have to show presence of prohibited substance according to Nevada rules to constitute a violation.”
Diaz has a medical license to smoke marijuana in California to help with his issues with ADHD and Goodman says that there is currently no rule that forbids a fighter from using the drug outside of competition.
“Effectively what they did was punish him for legally consuming marijuana more than a week before the fight and then having an inactive component sequestered in his fat tissue after the fight.”
Goodman believes that the commission had made their mind up before he even had a chance to defend his client and now wants to file a petition to have a judicial revew in front of a district court judge.
So it looks like this sideshow may rumble on for some time to come, but for now the reality is that Diaz is more than likely going to be out of action until his suspension ends on February 4th, 2013.