Nick Diaz hasn’t expressed much interest in returning to the Octagon, which may have led to his latest UFC Anti-Doping Policy violation that was revealed on Monday.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced that Diaz had accepted a one-year sanction for a violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy resulting from three unsuccessful test attempts during a 12-month period.
Like all UFC athletes, Diaz, 34, is a member of the UFC Registered Testing Pool and is therefore subject to certain Whereabouts responsibilities, which include keeping USADA abreast of his location so that he can be randomly drug tested.
The first two failures occurred in the second and third quarters of 2016, while the third occurred in the first quarter of 2017, according to USADA. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, the accumulation of three Whereabouts Failures within a 12-month period constitutes an anti-doping policy violation. Diaz’s violation resulted in a one-year suspension, but the kicker to Monday’s announcement was that the revelation comes within days of his fulfillment of the suspension.
Diaz’s one-year period of ineligibility began on April 19, 2017, the date on which his third Whereabouts Failure was declared against him. During his period of ineligibility, Diaz remained subject to no-advance-notice testing by USADA and did not accumulate any additional Whereabouts Failures. As such, Diaz will be eligible to return to competition upon the completion of his sanction on April 19, 2018.
The reasoning behind the late announcement of Diaz’s suspension, according to USADA’s Brad Horn, is that Diaz didn’t technically accept the sanction until Monday.
“All sanctions are reached either in acceptance with the athlete, or with a ruling through arbitration,” Horn told MMAWeekly.com. “The sanction was not final until the athlete returned the paperwork, which was received (Monday) morning. Hence, we announced the sanction as soon as we could.”
To remain compliant with the UFC Whereabouts Policy, athletes must complete and submit quarterly Whereabouts Filings, and promptly update USADA regarding any changes in their Whereabouts information. Accurate Whereabouts information is a crucial component of effective out-of-competition testing programs because it enables anti-doping organizations to conduct no-notice sample collections, which helps maintain effective doping deterrence, as well as detect doping.
In an effort to help athletes understand and fulfill their Whereabouts requirements, USADA conducts in-person and online educational sessions with athletes, sends email reminders about filing dates and obligations, maintains online and app-based filing and updating platforms, and gives athletes the option to receive daily and weekly reminders of their provided Whereabouts information.
According to USADA, Diaz was drug tested once in 2018, so he remains in the UFC Registered Testing Pool and could return to the Octagon upon completion of his suspension, if he wishes to do so.
Diaz (31-5, 1NC) hasn’t fought since a loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 183 in January of 2015, which was later changed to a no contest when both fighters were suspended of anti-doping violations.