It's been a long year for UFC Welterweight Nick Diaz. After losing a close and controversial decision to Carlos Condit at UFC 143 in February, Diaz failed his post-fight drug test. The Stockton fighter hired attorney Ross Goodman to represent him in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. On behalf of Diaz, Goodman contended that the marijuana metabolites found in Nick's system did not violate the NSAC's drug use policy, but rather "out of competition use" which is allowed by the WADA regulations.
The members of Nevada's commission ruled against Diaz's argument and levied a one year suspension backdated to the day of the infraction. Furthermore, the commission also believed Diaz provided false information on his pre-fight questionnaires. They said that Diaz failed to declare marijuana as an over-the-counter/prescription medication as well as label ADHD as a serious medical condition.
The Commission needs to understand that it cannot act with impunity in the exercise of its authority. In Diaz's opinion, while fighters must respect the lawful authority of state athletic commissions, they should not accept unjust and unlawful disciplinary action. Further, Diaz finds it bizarre that the Commission is vigorously policing legal marijuana use outside competition while at the same endorsing and sanctioning the use of steroids and testosterone -- which has a direct effect on fighters and their opponents in competition. The Commission needs to refocus itself on protecting fighters and the fairness of the combat sports they regulate. Diaz believes this legal proceeding may provide the Commission a helpful push in the right direction, for the benefit of all fighters and the reputation of the sport itself.
As of now, Nick Diaz is unable to compete until after he is relicensed following the end of his suspension on February 4, 2013. If the Nevada court rules in his favor, both his suspension and the almost $80,000 fine could be overturned, leaving him free to compete immediately.