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Nick Diaz issued yearlong suspension, $60,000 fine by the NAC

Fans’ hopes of seeing Nick Diaz escape punishment for his failed drug test in February went up in smoke Monday when the polarizing pugilist was punished fully by the Nevada Athletic Commission. The 28-year old was suspended for a year and fined 30% of his purse from the related bout, a sum equating to $60,000.

Additionally, when Diaz’s mandatory shelving runs out he will have to test cleanly before receiving approval for a license to fight in the State (assuming he even wants to return to the ring).

Diaz was found to have marijuana metabolites in his system before a bout with Carlos Condit. The native Californian has a prescription to smoke medicinal pot and has never hidden his marijuana use, stating he ceased using the drug eight days prior to his match-up with Condit as he’d done before his other contests.

Interestingly, during the proceedings NAC executive Keith Kizer stated the sample Diaz submitted in his fight with B.J. Penn this past October came back as “diluted/abnormal” and even his February test had been hard to obtain with Diaz initially refusing until being told his salary would be withheld without the procedure.

Presently the former Strikeforce welterweight champ is retired and has not changed course in his decision to quit MMA other than stating he would consider a comeback if cleared by the NAC. While his return seems more unlikely than ever at this point one thing is certain – Diaz will not be fighting in the United States, if anywhere, until February 2013 at the earliest.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

18 COMMENTS
  • jeref says:

    I’m not a lawyer, thank God, so I’m a little foggy on this whole thing.

    If a person legally smokes pot in California, how can metabolites in Nevada be punishable? Shouldn’t the burden of proof be on the commission to prove that he actually smoked the pot in Nevada?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  • fitfreak says:

    It doesn’t matter where you smoke it. It wouldn’t even matter if pot was legal in Nevada. What matters is that it’s against their rules for fighters to use certain substances. When you get a license to fight in Nevada, you have to follow their rules. If you don’t, they can fine you.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  • Rece Rock says:

    It seems like the punishment is unfair for Diaz considering what Reem got handed down for PED usage but at the same time Diaz & co. needed to disclose his usage and present all the documentation and licences for medical use upfront, why wait for this shit to happen? and they knew it was going to happen if he was refusing to take a drug test after the fight. I’m not a fan of Diaz but it seems like the NAC screwed up about as much as Diaz screwed up… I’m sure the motivation of getting 60K fine into the budget didn’t hurt either.

    Just like they say don’t leave it in the hands of the Judges… well fighters need to be proactive and not leave it in the hands of the commission either.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Who gets the $60k? Condit, UFC or NSAC?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    The NSAC has revealed itself to be an utter joke, after this hearing.

    First off, Sonnen got his TUE. That wasn’t unexpected but Sonnen went on record stating “I do not believe TRT is an anabolic steroid” despite the fact it is both — a synthetic hormone, and one that promotes muscle growth. After explaining his injection routine, the NSAC basically thanked him for his time, waxed philosophical that TRT is like “the new Viagra”, and asked Sonnen to be a consultant regarding TRT in the future.

    So, lesson learned there: lie to the NSAC, plead to a felony, then come back, smile, state that you firmly believe up is down and down is up, and the NSAC will offer you a job.

    Up next was Diaz. The NSAC opened with a dressing-down of Diaz, before his lawyer got a chance to speak. Nick’s lawyer shredded their argument; they went round-and-round about the medical marijuana card until finally conceding that they didn’t know what they were talking about — that a document from a doctor is analogous to a card.

    The NSAC didn’t even know why Diaz was there. To quote Nick’s response: “I didn’t ask to be here. You served me papers.” There was a several minute pause while the NSAC had to flip through their paperwork to confirm, yeah, they asked him to be there — WTF!

    When Nick’s lawyer tore apart their testing process, they switched gears and started taking the stance that Nick had to have benefited from being high during training. They spent a good 20 minutes grilling Nick about his pot smoking outside the cage. The only thing they ‘caught’ him on was following his first suspension for pot after the Gomi fight, he promised “not to smoke pot anymore” and then, at the hearing, stated “yeah, I probably smoked again as soon as I got home.”

    After delving through more irrelevant personal life stuff, the NSAC accused Nick of trying to doctor his B sample after the Condit fight: their proof, he wouldn’t piss on command after a 25, highly athletic fight.

    The NSAC had nothing at this point, but were trying to convince themselves out loud that pot smoking helped him take more strikes in training … or something. They also harangued him about not disclosing his pot smoking on the pre-fight forms. Nick kind of buried himself when he said “I didn’t think ADHD was that serious.” (I agree, in the sense I wouldn’t mention it either — it’s not a life-threatning condition, and unless he was taking something like Ritalin then there is no issue as far as I can see; they ask these questions to determine, if you need emergency treatment what medication NOT to give you.)

    Nick’s lawyer brought in a doctor who tore apart everything the commission was trying to state. Their testing is a joke and does not confirm Nick was under the influence during his fight; in fact, the minute amount of THC found in his system was “shocking” in the sense that someone of Diaz’ personal habits should — in the doctor’s own words — have shown much higher levels of metabolites if he’d only stopped smoking 8 days prior to the bout.

    For most of the hearing, if they weren’t asking Nick for his pot-smoking life-story since age 14, the NSAC was getting schooled by Nick’s lawyer.

    In the end, they decided to throw the book at a guy for the most minor of offences, with no real justifiable reasoning for their decision beyond “because we can”. They changed their angle multiple times, as each theory got crushed: he was high at fight time, errrr I mean, he got an advantage training beforehand, sort of, and …. well, it’s against the rules and he promised he wouldn’t smoke pot anymore — even though it is legal and recommended by his doctor.

    Alistair Overeem had the commission kissing his ass, despite all of his shenanigans. Chael is on record as a cheater, and now on record as a bold-faced liar — albeit the NSAC’s kind of lawyer, and now he’s got a TUE.

    But yeah, it’s absolutely not a vendetta against pot smoking.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  • Lord Faust says:

    If I were Nick, I’d apply for a license in California, hope for a hearing, and see what kind of shit-storm errupts.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Faust, want a job? :)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    This is all just so silly & unnecessary. If there was any doubt or mystery about the rules, maybe I’d feel different, but there’s not. Nick is well aware of the black-and-white nature of the rules, to the point he’s deveolped a pretty strict regiment to beat the system. But unfortunately for him his regiment apparently isn’t fail-safe & it’s ended up biting him in the ass a couple of times.

    I don’t know if it’s just an attitude thing…a disregard of authority/rules. Or if pot has that much control over him he just can’t give the stuff up for a handful of weeks throughout the year leading up to his fights.

    So yeah, the commission seem overly subjective in these matters (at best), or a group of bumbling idiots. So I’ve got an idea…follow the rules so you don’t put yourself in the position of dealing with these clowns. Personal accountability is a hell of a thing.

    It’s whatever.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Errr…regimen.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    And yes, pot should be legalized. I don’t partake…or at least haven’t had the desire since college…but it’s long overdue to legalize the stuff. But until that happens, there’s easy ways to deal with it, and then there’s the difficult path that a stubborn/dependent guy like Nick opts for. It’s gotta drive Cesar Gracie nuts.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • hindsightufuk says:

    great post Faust, good reading
    the whole thing is so hypocritical i cant even begin to rant on it.
    i just hope Nick takes up boxing if he really stays retired cos i would hate to never see him fight again.
    if the ufc put on another card in Japan could he fight? pretty sure it would never happen as it would show Zuffa supporting Nick rather than NSAC, but hypothetically could it happen?

    i dont smoke much any more mainly cos i dont want to inhale smoke, and eating it gets you ridiculously high and not instantly, but i did recently try the magic flight launch box which was nice, not as strong a hit but a pretty cool way if you dont want as much smoke in your lungs

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • Wow Faust….that was phenomenal.

    And that’s all true. Reem and Chael….people who actually cheated to benefit themselves in the ring….Nick Diaz…pothead who does nothing that could enhance his performance. And they throw the book at Nick due to his brash attitude and the fact that he brought lawsuit against NSAC for not giving him a hearing in a fair amount of time(which the retirement speech might have been a ploy to avoid) which was probably Nick’s risky plan that blew up. Either way, Id appeal the appeal and use the examples of Reem and Chael as my argument.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • and does his suspension start today or february 6th?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    It’s retroactive from the Condit fight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Angry Mike says:

    Maybe pot isn’t the real problem. Maybe it’s the whole concept of state athletic commissions. Would my life be affected if they ceased to exist? I think the answer is no.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    They need to prove they are staffed by people with any business making these decisions. Less lawyers, more medical professionals and former fighters.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • fitfreak says:

    Speaking of the commission being rediculous, what was the point in asking for the medical card in the first place? Diaz produced the doctor’s letter which was just as good, but what difference did it make? It seems like they were just trying to grill Diaz.

    Faust, in my experience, most commissions / professional boards are full of people that like to hear themselves talk.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    Freak: yup. Honestly, it takes a certain kind of sociopath to want a job like that. That said, I think a coin-operated Magic 8-Ball would be more consistent in its application of the law than the Nevada State Athletic Circus.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

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