We know the suspense has been killing you, so we’re just going to break it to you.
Apparently Nick Diaz partook in the stick icky a little too close to his UFC 143 welterweight interim title bout with Carlos Condit as the Nevada State Athletic Commission has announced this afternoon that the Stockton native’s post-fight urinalysis came back positive for marijuana metabolites.
According to NSAC executive director Keith Kizer, 18 of the 22 fighters who competed on Saturday night’s card were tested and only Diaz yielded a positive result.
Carlos Condit, Fabricio Werdum, Josh Koscheck, Renan Barao, Ed Herman, Dustin Poirier, Max Hollaway, Matt Riddle, Henry Martinez, Edwin Figueroa, Alex Caceres, Matt Brown, Chris Cope, Rafael Natal, Michael Kuiper, Stephen Thompson and Dan Stittgen were also tested.
Here’s what Kizer wrote in the email statement we received:
“All results received thus far have been negative, except Mr. Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites,” he revealed. “A complaint for disciplinary action against Mr. Diaz has been filed.”
Nick, who has a prescription for cannabis to treat his ADHD has stated in the past that he smokes up to ten days out from his bouts and that his metabolism rids the drug from his system in that little time.
“I’m more consistent about everything being a cannabis user,” Diaz said in an interview with The LA Times back in April 2009 ahead of his Strikeforce fight with Frank Shamrock. “I’m happy to get loaded, hear some good music . . . I remain consistent. And I have an easy way to deal with [the drug tests]. I can pass a drug test in eight days with herbal cleansers. I drink 10 pounds of water and sweat out 10 pounds of water every day. I’ll be fine.”
The problem is that he’s getting older and his metabolism is slowing down — that and sometimes the metabolites can stay in the system for weeks after a person has stopped using since they are fat soluble.
Here’s an explanation of why commission drug tests should only be done by blood, courtesy of norml.org’s The ABCs of Marijuana and Drug Testing:
“Urinalysis can not detect the presence of any illicit drugs – including marijuana – and can only identify the presence of non-psychoactive drug metabolites indicating that a substance has been previously consumed at an unspecified point in time. Unfortunately for cannabis consumers, pot’s primary metabolite THC-COOH is fat soluble, and may remain detectable in urine for days and sometimes two-to-three weeks after past use in regular smokers.
Blood tests, unlike urinalysis, detect the presence illicit drugs, not inactive drug metabolites. In general, THC only remains detectable in the blood of cannabis consumers for a few hours (though low, residual levels may be detected in chronic smokers for up to 12-24+ hours if more sensitive technology is used). Because of this narrow detection window, blood tests are typically only administered in the workplace post-accident in order to estimate recent cannabis consumption.”
Since this is Nick’s second offense, it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to dispute the charges against him, even if he took a lie-detector test like Sean Sherk to prove that he didn’t smoke for a week or so before the bout. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what he or Cesar Gracie have to say about the charges.
I’m not advocating for fighters who do drugs, but it seems unfair that by rights a fighter could get drunk a day or two before a fight if they so desired, but smoking pot a week or two before a fight when they have a prescription to do so and when the commission doesn’t actually test for THC, only inactive metabolites, is a punishable offense.
I think it has more to do with the stigma involved with the substance, more than it does the act of using it, especially when it isn’t illegal for the fighter to do so while he isn’t fighting.
Last time he received a six-month suspension when he tested positive after his PRIDE 33 bout with Takanori Gomi. The bout was also declared a no-contest. Hopefuly the result from his bout with Condit stands, or else we may have to have another welterweight interim title fight soon.
*UPDATED Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm ET: UFC president Dana White released the following statement about Diaz’s positive test this evening:
“I am beyond disappointed that he tested positive for marijuana. It is now in the hands of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.”