Since he tested positive for marijuana metabolites after his UFC 143 loss to Carlos Condit and was suspended for a year and fined nearly $80,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), Nick Diaz has fought the punishment in just about every place he could, and continued Wednesday by filing a Memorandum of Points and Authorities to support his petition for judicial review. So far, Diaz and his high-profile legal defense team have struck out in appealing to the Nevada State Attorney General and the NSAC itself in a hearing.
The NSAC has thirty days to respond and after that a judge will hear Diaz’ petition. Luke Thomas and MMA Fighting spoke with a member of Diaz’ legal team:
The Commission needs to understand that it cannot act with impunity in the exercise of its authority…In Diaz’s opinion, while fighters must respect the lawful authority of state athletic commissions, they should not accept unjust and unlawful disciplinary action. Further, Diaz finds it bizarre that the Commission is vigorously policing legal marijuana use outside competition while at the same time endorsing and sanctioning the use of steroids and testosterone — which has a direct effect on fighters and their opponents in competition. The Commission needs to refocus itself on protecting fighters and the fairness of the combat sports they regulate. Diaz believes this legal proceeding may provide the Commission a helpful push in the right direction, for the benefit of all fighters and the reputation of the sport itself.
Diaz’s petition has some interesting and seemingly compelling parts to it, including his lawyers’ contention that marijuana metabolites are not, in fact, banned substances. But they also continue to stretch out some arguments.
In what way does the NSAC “endorse and sanction,” the use of steroids? It is true that the commission has recently begun to issue therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy to
every single some fighters who have applied for them. They could theoretically issue some for marijuana use to those, like Diaz, who are legally allowed to use it in their home state of California to help with various ailments.
The thing is, NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer has said that Diaz has never applied for a TUE for Marijuana. If part of Diaz’s argument is that he has a legal right to use marijuana out of competition and that he should have the same right to use as those who have been granted TUE’s, he probably should have applied for one at some point. Then again, we are talking about a man who once stated that he couldn’t move out of his shitty neighborhood because he didn’t major in buying a house during his time at Stockton U, which I can only imagine is run like Harvard post Method Man and Redman’s arrival.
Not that Diaz would have a clear path if he actually did apply. There’s no reason to believe that the NSAC would grant him their first exemption ever for marijuana, and there are not really guidelines for permissible amounts of THC or metabolites the way there are for testosterone.
In any case, at least Diaz is clearly not retired and obviously wants to get back to fighting as soon as possible (Ed note: Yeah, until he loses again). We’ll keep you posted on developments with this story as they are made available. To check out Diaz’ full petition to the court, click here.