(Nick’s the shirtless guy in the back who just don’t give a fuck. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)
For a card that’s already seen its share of unfortunate pull-outs, the last thing that "Carano vs. Cyborg" needed was Nick Diaz putting his welterweight title fight in danger due to his rampant marijuana addiction. And yet, rumors have been swirling since Saturday that the Diaz/Hieron match might be scrapped due to licensing issues. FiveOuncesofPain has gotten the full story from California State Athletic Commission Assistant Executive Officer Bill Douglas. It’s a long read, but a fascinating (and infuriating) one, and it awaits you after the jump.
“When we initially made contact with the Diaz camp in regards to acquiring the pre-fight drug testing he was allegedly training in Florida with American Top Team and not available to be in California. No problem. We were trying to be accommodating.
We knew he was scheduled to be a special guest at a boxing/kickboxing event that was taking place this past Friday evening. So we contacted Cesar Gracie on Wednesday to make the arrangements and let them know that we’ve been trying to arrange this drug test for some time. You know, we were like, ‘Let’s make this happen sooner than later because we want to make sure that we get the test results back in time. Technically we would have to get the test done by Friday to insure that we have enough time to get a drug test processed, it doesn’t take as long as a steroid test. So let’s do this’.
Well they wanted a clarification on a legal opinion about medicinal marijuana in California because of the deal that was allegedly made between Nick Diaz and Armando Garcia. And I’m sitting here thinking, well Armando hasn’t been here since November. Is that really the policies of a person that we want to emulate at this point in time. So lets disregard that but Cesar asked for a legal opinion and at that point I’m obligated to give it to him. I went back to the department’s legal team, and what they clarified was that the passionate use act in California will protect people from criminal prosecution for the use of medicinal marijuana, but it does not protect them from administrative action against a license. So there is no criminal actions here against Mr. Diaz, it’s a licensing action that still falls in line with our rule 303 prohibiting use of a banned substance, and at this time in regards to athletic competition marijuana is still considered banned. So that’s what we came back to Cesar with.
On Thursday we actually made arrangements again with Cesar. I set it up on this end for an athletic inspector who was going to be in Sacramento to wait for them and greet them. Cesar made contact with the athletic inspector and agreed that it would be best to do the drug test prior to the Friday evening boxing/kickboxing event, because of the fact that Nick was going to be there anyway. Cesar wanted to do it before anyone got there, we said no problem. We confirmed it with Cesar on behalf of Nick and this inspector. On Friday evening I get a phone call from the inspector saying they no-showed. There’s no Nick Diaz, there’s no Cesar Gracie, there’s nobody. When I reached out to Nick through phone call I was informed that Nick was busy training at Donner Lake. And I’m sitting here thinking that there’s a huge problem because to get to Donner Lake you have to go through Sacramento. So what’s the deal.
Now Nick Diaz is completely unavailable, so I call the promoter and tell him we have a huge problem. I told him that I was out of options and didn’t know what to do. At this point, without his license, we can’t approve him to fight Jay Hieron. So this is fairly late in the evening on Friday night, about 9 or 10 pm on Friday night. I was on the phone at all hours dealing with this on Friday night, and the promoter said , ‘How about this as an option? How about we make sure that Nick is in Los Angeles on Monday. That way at least he’s there and we can drive him over to the lab’. I said, ‘You know what. In interest in fairness to Nick, interest of fairness to you and all of the fans that have wanted to see this fight; let’s do that. I’m all for second chances, let’s do whatever we can to get this man licensed. This is the only possible way we could get the test results on Friday. I even went as far as to say that I wouldn’t give a cut off time for the test results. I will take the test results up until seconds before Nick Diaz has to get on the scale. Seriously, I want to get this man licensed. The promoter said, ‘Excellent, thanks for this opportunity. We appreciate it. He’ll be there.’ And that was the last time we’ve heard from anybody. At least if we could get the test done by 2 pm this afternoon and get it to the lab by 5 pm, we’ll be alright.
I attempted to contact the promoters of the event on Saturday night as far as what needed to be done, and again at midnight. The inspector has also made attempts to contact them on Saturday night, Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and again this morning, and neither one of us has heard anything from either the promoter or the Diaz camp. I’m sitting here thinking that we’ve done everything we can to try to get ahold of them and if we can’t get a simple phone call back, or some kind of fax, or an email, just one line, something; If they can’t meet us halfway on that, then it’s doomed.”
Diaz has a long history of weed-based scandals. His triumphant gogoplata win over Takanori Gomi at PRIDE 33 was changed to a no-contest after Diaz tested positive for an ungodly amount of THC. Diaz was also blocked from competing at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Le, reportedly due to his usage of medical marijuana. Nevertheless, he convinced himself (and admitted to a major newspaper) that he could pass drug tests by drinking and sweating. So what went wrong this time? Did Diaz go on a marijuana binge last week that no amount of water could remove from his system? No matter how this situation plays out, Strikeforce will probably think twice from now on before placing the Smoker from Stockton in a critical main card fight. And Diaz might want to consider a treatment program before he screws his career for good. More to come…