Out of the Octagon for more than two years, UFC veteran Nick Diaz has just been hit with a potential anti-doping violation by USADA. If you’re wondering if Diaz tested positive for a banned substance, that’s not the case. Here’s the official statement released by the UFC on Thursday:
The UFC organization has been notified that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Nick Diaz of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from Diaz’s alleged accumulation of three Whereabouts Failures within a 12-month period. Diaz, like all other UFC athletes, is enrolled in USADA’s UFC Registered Testing Pool and required to file accurate Whereabouts information in order to be located for out-of-competition, no-notice testing.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of Diaz’s case, who has been provisionally suspended pending the final resolution of this matter. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
Diaz (26-9, 2 NCs) is almost a year removed from finishing up his ban after testing positive for marijuana for his January 2015 fight vs. Anderson Silva. The Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) initially handed him a controversial 5-year suspension, with this being his third offense for the same substance, but it was ultimately reduced to 18 months. His suspension ended in August 2016. Diaz hasn’t officially announced his retirement and thus is obviously still under the USADA testing pool.
As USADA policy states for UFC fighters, “UFC athletes who have been identified and notified that they are part of the UFC Registered Testing Pool (UFC RTP) are responsible for directly keeping USADA informed of their whereabouts. UFC athletes who have not been notified of their responsibility to submit whereabouts information may still be tested out-of-competition by USADA.”
These would be the three ways a fighter could get dinged for a Whereabouts failure:
- A quarterly whereabouts filing has not been submitted to USADA by the specified deadline;
- The athlete has not updated his/her whereabouts information in a prompt and timely manner; or
- An athlete’s whereabouts information is inaccurate or incomplete to reasonably locate them for testing.
Fighters have the option of filing or updating their whereabouts either through the Athlete Express website, or by using the official USADA Whereabouts phone app. Three failures in 12 months means an anti-doping violation, of which Nick Diaz is now the first UFC fighter to be flagged for this reason.
First-time offenders are subject to a suspension ranging from six months to two years.