Several fighters have spoken out about the ridiculous suspension handed out by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Nick Diaz. UFC middleweight and Bloody Elbow writer, Josh Samman penned an excellent piece calling it a 'gross abuse of power', and now the biggest star of the promotion has echoed some of these fighters concerns.
"It's so not right for him to be suspended five years for marijuana," Ronda Rousey told the media while in Australia. "I'm against them testing for weed at all. It's not a performance-enhancing drug. It has nothing to do with athletic competition. It's only tested for political reasons. They say, 'Oh, it's only for your safety to keep you from hurting yourself because you're out there.' Why don't they test for all of the other things that could possibly hurt us?"
"There’s no reason for them to be testing for weed. In athletics, the beautiful thing about it is it separates everything from politics. It shouldn’t be involved at all," she said. "I don’t think marijuana should be part of the conversation at all. I think it’s an invasion of privacy for them to test for it, and they have no right."
Rousey then went on to point out how PED users, like Anderson Silva who fought Diaz on that event, didn't even get punished as much.
"It’s so unfair if one person tests for steroids that could actually really hurt a person and the other person smokes a plant that makes them happy. He gets suspended for five years, whereas the guy that could hurt someone gets a slap on the wrist. It’s not fair. It’s not fair at all."
"I can’t believe this isn't being said more. I think they really should free Nick Diaz, but it’s not (the UFC's) decision either."
The commission considered putting Diaz on a lifetime ban, before eventually settling on the 5 year suspension. It's a punishment that goes well beyond any rule they've had about test failures, all while unprofessionally scoffing at the actual facts and evidence brought up by Diaz's camp.
If they thought the decision would set an example for future offenders, and make the organization look more stern about test failures, it's certainly not working.
Here's MMA Fighting's Luke Thomas with his thoughts on the Diaz suspension: