The Nevada State Athletic Commission has reached a new low, Nation.
Just a few weeks after slapping Anderson Silva with a one-year ban for a positive steroid test at UFC 183 — which came following an intense and inexplicably thorough investigation about Thai sex drugs – the commission has suspended Nick Diaz for five goddamn years for his positive marijuana test at the very same event.
Yep, five years. For weed.
Details and Diaz’s reaction to the hearing are after the jump.
And not only that, but Diaz was additionally fined 33 percent of his purse, or $150,000.
I feel like this is where I would normally launch into some hyperbolic rant about the state of mixed martial arts regulation, but I’m absolutely speechless. If Diaz’s suspension is somehow upheld, he will not be able to return to competition until he is 36 years old (unless the UFC releases him from his contract and allows him to fight overseas, which LOL). The most confusing angle of all this? Silva tested positive for steroids on two occasions prior to UFC 183 and received what was essentially a slap on the wrist. Diaz tested positive for marijuana *once* in three tests and received a suspension five times as long.
According to ESPN, however, Diaz’s attorney, Lucas Middlebrook, Diaz will appeal the commission’s “personal vendetta suspension” at the earliest convenience.
The online reaction to the NSAC hearing has been swift and brutal. BloodyElbow’s Connor Ruebusch, in an open letter, wrote that the letter set a clear precedence that “obeisance is preferable to innocence.” Marc Raimondi called the whole thing a “farce” and even Ariel Helwani got in on the pile-on, stating “Once again NAC sends message that they would prefer you admit to all with a puppy dog face, kiss their ass and beg for forgiveness. Insanity.”
Diaz’s reaction was a bit…um…less eloquent. (via Brett Okamoto)
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) September 14, 2015
This isn’t to mention the fact that the NSAC’s hearing violates the rules they put into place four months ago, which suggested a 36-month ban for third offense marijuana users. So yeah, add that to the list of things that are completely f*cked up about today’s hearing.
More on this as it develops. Welcome to the circus, folks.