Photo: Esther Lin / MMA Fighting
Nick Diaz's lawyers filed a lawsuit against the Nevada State Athletic Commission last week for failing to hold a hearing over Diaz's suspension. Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites following his loss to Carlos Condit, since that time we've been treated to a lot of legal nonsense about why it should be okay that Diaz tested positive for substances you're not allowed to test positive for.
The NSAC responded to the Diaz lawsuit via a letter, effectively killing the entire basis of Nick's legal action. MMA Fighting got their hands on the letter and here's a bit of what it contained:
"No Notice of Summary Suspension was ever served on your client," Masto wrote. "In this matter, Mr. Diaz was properly served with a 'Notice of Hearing on Temporary Suspension' and he failed to appear at the hearing. The Commission temporarily suspended Mr. Diaz's license at the hearing. Neither Mr. Diaz nor you objected in any manner to the temporary suspension."
The letter effectively indicates that because Diaz was not given a "summary suspension," his case does not fall under Nevada code NRS 233B.127, which requires a hearing within 45 days. A separate code, NRS 467.117, indicates that the commission can " continue the suspension until it makes a final determination of any disciplinary action to be taken against the licensee or holder of the permit."
That final determination still hasn't been made, in part because the commission requested to see Nick's medical marijuana card over a month ago, yet no one on Nick's side has presented it.
In the end, Diaz's defense has always kind of been nonsense. I get that people like Nick and that marijuana being illegal to begin with is silly. But it's not like the testing procedures are particularly murky for the NSAC. Fighters are aware of what substances are and aren't allowed to pop up in your urinalysis. And if you think one may because you're using it for a legitimate reason, there are procedures you are supposed to follow to disclose it and request an exemption.
Diaz never followed any of that, instead bragging for years about how easy it is to beat the test. I've said it before, but his behavior didn't exactly reflect someone who was looking to handle the situation in the best possible way. He acted like a little kid sticking his tongue out at authority because they couldn't prove he did anything wrong.
Now he has a legal team stumbling around and doing things that seem to be really on point, but that's usually because we don't have a deep legal understanding. All the stuff about NRS 233B.127 seemed like they were on to something, but that's because no one dug through the codes to see that NRS 467.117 effectively destroyed the "due process" argument.
And the commission has made no secret for the past month that they're waiting on Diaz's team to show them his medical marijuana card so that they have all available information before deciding on his punishment. Why has no one provided that yet?
The whole situation is a mess and, frankly, kind of embarrassing. Count me among those excited for it to just be done already.