Fighters and celebrities alike have voiced their outrage over the Nevada Athletic Commission’s five-year suspension of Nick Diaz for testing positive to marijuana at UFC 183. In a recent interview, former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre added his name to the list of supporters.
St-Pierre believes the commission wanted to make an example out of Diaz.
“I think they wanted to use him to pass a message because he is a colorful character who speaks a lot, that makes a lot of noise. It wanted to set an example as was done in Olympic sports with Marion Jones, for example. Unfortunately, it fell on him, but I believe that everyone is entitled to a second chance,” said the former UFC welterweight kingpin.
“It is a drug, yes, but I believe that there should be different penalties for certain products that competitors use,” he said. “Marijuana can help a person who suffers from anxiety, but it can’t make you physically stronger or more powerful, more efficient. I do not believe that it should be judged in a severe way.”
Diaz and St-Pierre fought at UFC 154 in March 2013 with St-Pierre winning by unanimous decision. Despite the back-and-forth banter leading up to the fight, St-Pierre says he likes Diaz and hopes that he’s able to return to fighting sooner rather than later.
“There is a need of guys like him in the sport and I hope that he will come back soon. If I can help him one way or another, without embarrassing myself, it’ll make me happy to do so. It’s someone I like and wish him the best of luck.”