After months of legal wrangling and precedents being filed, the Nevada State Athletic Commission finally ruled on Nick Diaz’s positive marijuana test and they dropped the hammer on the Stockton, Calif., fighter.
Following a three-hour-plus hearing in which Diaz spoke to the commission at length about everything including his history with marijuana use, his medical marijuana card in California, his previous positive test from 2007, and his questionnaire filled out prior to his fight at UFC 143, the commission handed down similar punishment to that of other athletes who have tested positive multiple times in the state.
Diaz was suspended for 12-months retroactive to the date of his bout with Carlos Condit at UFC 143 and also fined 30-percent of his fight purse from the event.
Diaz was paid $200,000 for his fight at UFC 143, so his fine will total out at $60,000.
The suspension will run until Feb. 4, 2013.
Diaz’s suspension was longer than normal for fighters who have tested positive for marijuana in the past because he had previously been suspended in the state for the same situation.
In 2007 following a fight with Takanori Gomi in Pride Fighting Championships, Diaz tested positive for marijuana and was suspended six months and his win was overturned to a no contest.
Because of the second infraction, Diaz was leveled this time with a one-year suspension and a 30-percent fine that will cost the UFC welterweight a cool $60,000.
The commission did not reverse the decision in the fight between Diaz and Condit because Diaz lost.
During the hearing, Diaz admitted that marijuana does help him perform better during his training, as he’s better able to focus and deal with his ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), for which he was prescribed a medical marijuana card.
The commission also came after Diaz several times for his pre-fight medical questionnaire in which he answered “no” when questioned about being treated for any “serious medical conditions” and also failed to disclose his marijuana usage in the sections marked for prescribed or over-the-counter medications.
Diaz’s lawyer, Ross Goodman, stood up for his client in several areas including the interpretation of the testing under the commission rules regarding marijuana metabolites as opposed to actually testing positive for marijuana.
For all the argument that took place, ultimately the commission handed down the same punishment to Diaz as previous competitors who tested positive for marijuana for a second time in the state.
Following his loss to Condit in February, Diaz stated he was retiring from active competition and would not seek out another fight. There’s been no word as of yet if he has changed his mind and will consider a return to action when he’s allowed to fight again in February 2013.