Perhaps bowing to public pressure, apparently including death threats, the Nevada Athletic Commission is currently in talks with Nick Diaz‘s legal team to possibly reduce –– extremely reduce –– the fighter’s five-year suspension for testing positive to marijuana in January of this year, following his UFC 183 bout with Anderson Silva.
In fact, “Nick Diaz could be back inside the Octagon as soon as 2016,” according to a report by legal analyst Amy Dardashtian on Friday night’s edition of Inside MMA.
When the Nevada Athletic Commission handed down a five-year suspension to Diaz in September, many considered it virtually a lifetime ban for the 32-year-old.
There were many confounding issues in Diaz’s case. The most significant was that he was tested three times within a matter of hours. The two WADA-accredited tests showed Diaz below the legal limit for marijuana metabolites, while the middle test, by a non-WADA-certified lab, put Diaz at nearly five times the legal limit of 150 ng/mL.
The NAC chose to acknowledge the one above the limit result and the fact that Diaz has tested positive for marijuana in the past, and initially pursued a lifetime ban before settling on a five-year suspension.
At the time of the suspension, Diaz’s legal counsel vowed to take further legal action, but it appears that instead of a judicial review, they are currently negotiating with the commission to possibly reduce the sanctions.
“Nick Diaz is engaged in settlement negotiations with the NAC commission members and the (Nevada) Attorney General. Multiple sources are telling us that basically public pressure got to this commission with at least one of the commission members receiving death threats,” said Dardashtian.
“They are trying to work out a one-and-a-half to two-year suspension instead of the five years, which is huge. And they want to backdate it to January 2015, Diaz’s last fight, which means we could be seeing him back in the Octagon as early as this summer.”
The negotiations are anything but a done deal, but the commission is supposed to have issued a written response to Diaz’s case on or by Nov. 13, so there will be some sort of movement soon. Dardashtian indicated that if there is a reduction in sentence it would have to take place in a public venue, so we should expect to see a re-hearing of Diaz’s case within the next month.